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China is historic neighbor, strategic partner to Afghanistan: Rabbani in 1st trilateral dialogue

AT-KABUL: 1st China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Minister’s Dialogue on Tuesday kicked off in Beijing, the capital city of neighboring China, in which three states talked over several issues.

In his speech, Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani expressed his profound gratitude to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his entire team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China for taking the initiative to facilitate and host the 1st China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Dialogue in Beijing.

“Afghanistan highly appreciates China’s principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and importantly its policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors, Rabbani said.

He added: “Afghanistan and China are historic neighbors, traditional friends and strategic partners. We remain firmly committed to this. We appreciate China’s sincere support to Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as well as our peace and development efforts. I would also like to express profound gratitude to China for the generous assistance to our reconstruction efforts in the past fifteen years. Afghanistan will always adhere to its strong One China policy and provide strong political support to China in the regional and global arenas.

He furthered: “Counter-terrorism and security cooperation with China will also continue to be a top priority for us in Afghanistan. This of course includes a continued resolute fight against ETIM and their support groups and networks, and overall counter-terrorism cooperation, including against the local and regional supporters and facilitators of ETIM and other terrorists.”

He also talked about Belt and Road initiative, saying “we attach great importance to our cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative. We earnestly hope that we can accelerate our joint efforts to fulfill the consensus reached by our two Presidents in this historic framework.”

He further went on saying, “we are grateful for China’s generous assistance to Afghanistan in the areas of development and economic growth, security, education and, most importantly, in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Kabul on June 24th following the consensus reached between the two Presidents on June 8th in Astana was important and helped bring us here to this trilateral.

Afghanistan and Pakistan congratulated China on the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and fully supported the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to build community with a shared future for mankind, a statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said.

According to statement, the three sides reaffirmed their commitment to improving their relations, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, and fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations without any distinction. The three Foreign Ministers agreed to jointly work together on political mutual trust and reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as three topics of the trilateral cooperation.

Moreover, the statement furthered that the three sides also agreed to conduct win-win trilateral economic cooperation, with an incremental approach, starting from the easier initiatives to the more difficult ones. “The three sides agreed to continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest, and expressed willingness to strengthen people-to-people contacts.”

Moreover, the three sides agreed that the 2nd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Dialogue will be held in Kabul in 2018.  The three countries also reiterated their firm resolve to fight the menace of terrorism.

“They expressed their strong determination not to allow any country, organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist activities against any other countries. The three sides agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist organizations and individuals without any discrimination. The three sides will communicate and consult on developing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Counter-Terrorism Cooperation,” the statement added.

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