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Afghanistan, Pakistan, China Hold Trilateral Meet; Keen To Commence Intra-Afghan Talks

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Afghanistan, Pakistan and China held a trilateral virtual meeting and Pakistani and Chinese officials again urged the Taliban to decrease violence so that intra-Afghan talks could be initiated, Tolo News quoted the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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“On July 7, 2020, the 3rd round China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue was held via video link. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the dialogue,” Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China held comprehensive discussions and agreed to collaborate against COVID-19, the Afghan peace talks and trilateral cooperation.

The statement also reads – China and Pakistan praised the efforts by the Afghanistan government and relevant parties in facilitating the exchange of the prisoners to pave the way for the start of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations and call for violence reduction and humanitarian ceasefire.

China and Pakistan will improve cooperation with the Afghan government in support of the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace reconciliation process, the launch of Intra-Afghan Negotiations at an early date, support the preservation of the gains since 2001, and looked forward to the early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

“Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to further strengthen dialogue and work for continuous improvement of bilateral relations including through the effective implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). China will continue to play a constructive role in improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations,” the statement said.

“The Afghan government should release the Taliban prisoners based on the peace agreement and avoid sabotaging the peace process,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

The Afghan government expects that the intra-Afghan talks can soon, but sources close to the Taliban have said that they do not see the possibility for talks unless the Afghan government guarantees the release of remaining 5,000 prisoners a per the pact signed between the US and the Taliban.

“With consideration of the measures taken by the Afghan government, the hope is that these talks start during July,” said Geran Hewad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

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