Pakistan, China and Afghanistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on anti-terrorism cooperation in Kabul. The MOU between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani, according to Radio Pakistan.
The signing of the MOU was witnessed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In his inaugural speech, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani stated that collective efforts are required to address the common challenge of terrorism.
Qureshi, in his address during a joint news conference, stressed for a joint strategy to exterminate the menace of terrorism from the region. He noted that “only through collective efforts we can wipe out terrorism and achieve the objectives of peace and development.” The foreign minister said we all want peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding that “Pakistan will benefit the most from the peace and stability of Afghanistan.”
Pakistan will extend cooperation to bring all the Afghan groups to the table of negotiations, the foreign minister said. However, he said it was up to the Afghans themselves as to how they want to achieve the goal of peace.
“Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Qureshi stated adding, that he said he is visiting Kabul to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries.
In his remarks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, that “both Afghanistan and Pakistan are friends of China, and that China will extend every possible cooperation to build trust and confidence between the two countries.’
China will also assist in establishing connectivity projects including a rail line between Peshawar-Kabul and Kandahar, the Chinese FM said.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that Pakistan has always favoured dialogue with the Afghan leadership. Addressing the Pak-China-Afghanistan negotiation session in Kabul, the foreign minister added that the Afghan people have been witnessing terrorism for the past 40 years.
FM Qureshi stated that Pakistan and Afghanistan have religious, cultural and historical commonalities, and that, “people from both the countries are in regular contact.” “Soon we are going to inaugurate Jinnah and Logar hospitals in Kabul, Both the hospitals are a gift from Pakistan to the Afghan people,” the foreign minister announced during the address.
We are proud of the fact that we have been hosting our Afghan brothers and sisters for the past four decades, the minister stated. “For the sake of the region’s prosperity and a peaceful future, all three countries need to work together.”
FM Qureshi also met with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani in Kabul, Express News reported. During the meeting, the foreign ministers agreed that cooperation among the three countries is necessary to establish peace in the war-torn country.
Possible technical assistance from Pakistan and China for Afghanistan’s progress were also discussed during the meeting. Earlier on Saturday, the foreign minister reached Kabul to participate in the Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral peace dialogue. FM Qureshi is accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and other senior officials of the Foreign Office, Radio Pakistan reported.
Speaking to the media before departure, the foreign minister welcomed the Chinese initiative of holding the trilateral dialogue. He said that; “both Pakistan and China desire peace, stability, prosperity and development in Afghanistan,” adding that we are carrying the message of friendship and peace to Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister stressed that peace is imperative to take the region forward on the path of sustainable development. Qureshi announced earlier that he would depart for Afghanistan on December 15 for talks with Kabul on political reconciliation and durable peace in the country.
The foreign minister underscored that Islamabad’s foreign policy is on a positive trajectory based on national interest and self-reliance, and reiterated that Pakistan is committed to Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.