Islamabad organized on Saturday the third round of the Trilateral Dialogue of Foreign Ministers China-Afghanistan-Pakistan during which the three parties "agreed on a list of initial projects to improve counter-terrorism cooperation," according to a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Relations Outside
The decision was taken after the three sides decided to work towards the implementation of the trilateral memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fight against terrorism, signed in the second round of the Trilateral Dialogue of Foreign Ministers held in Kabul last year.
After a detailed round of discussions at this year's meeting, the three countries reiterated their "firm determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and without any distinction." All parties reaffirmed that no terrorist organization, element or individual would not be allowed to use their land against any country.
According to the joint statement, the three parties "condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, Konduz, Baghlan and Farah, which have taken many innocent civilian lives, including women and children."
The need to continue the joint struggle against the Islamic Movement of Eastern Turkestan (ETIM) and its supporters and facilitators was also recognized.
"The three parties pledged to promote measures to counter the logistical capabilities of terrorists, including terrorist financing, recruitment and training," according to the joint press release.
The trilateral forum was established two years ago, and the previous meetings were held in Beijing and Kabul in 2017 and 2018. The next round of talks will be held in Beijing in 2020.
In today's dialogue, the three countries agreed "to continue their joint efforts to build mutual political trust and support regional reconciliation, peace and stability, cooperation and connectivity for development, security cooperation and the fight against terrorism as key areas of trilateral cooperation. "
Hope for intra-Afghan negotiations
China, Afghanistan and Pakistan "reiterated their support for a politically negotiated solution to the conflict in Afghanistan," according to the joint communiqué published.
The three sides that took stock of the talks between the United States and the Taliban, expressed hope that intra-Afghan negotiations, including direct negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban, will begin soon. It was also hoped that this would lead to an eventual end to the violence and bring lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan.
"In particular, they stressed the need for an inclusive peace process, led by Afghans and owned by Afghans that will lead to a comprehensive agreement for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan," the statement said.
In addition, he states that, taking into account and respecting the will of the Afghan people and appreciating the efforts of the Afghan government, China and Pakistan extended their continued support for peace in Afghanistan and the process for their reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received his Afghan and Chinese counterparts, Salahuddin Rabbani and Wang Yi, respectively, at Noor Khan air base in Islamabad.
Qureshi, while speaking on the occasion, said the talks are taking place at a key moment in the US-led effort to negotiate peace in Afghanistan. He added that regional and domestic security will depend on ending the war in Afghanistan.
He described the trilateral forum as significant and said its importance will increase further with the improvement of peace and security in Afghanistan, as it will open the doors of economic activity and trade in the region.
The foreign minister said that Afghanistan can also benefit from the China-Pakistan billionaire economic corridor (CPEC) and the port of Gwadar. He said that peace and development in Afghanistan are important for general regional development.
Speaking about relations between China and Pakistan, he said that the friendship between the two countries is proven. He thanked his Chinese counterpart for Beijing's support of Pakistan in the UN Security Council after India unilaterally withdrew the autonomous state of occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan and China sign memorandum of understanding for educational cooperation
Before the trilateral dialogue, FM Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart held discussions on bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.
The two parties also signed a memorandum of understanding for educational cooperation between the two countries.
Under the agreement, Beijing will provide e-learning facilities and help establish smart schools in Pakistan.
The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The executive director and the vice president of the Higher Education Commission of the China International Development Cooperation Agency signed the memorandum of understanding.