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Wang Yi Briefs on the Consensus Reached at the Third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Dialogue

On September 7, 2019 local time, after attending the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the journalists on the consensus reached at the dialogue.

Wang Yi expressed, at present, the reconciliation process in Afghanistan has ushered in major opportunities, but terrorism and security situation remain grave. Some disputes left over from history are heating up again. Regional stability is facing new challenges. Unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise in the international community, undermining the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries including China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is imperative for the Foreign Ministers of the three countries to hold the dialogue at such an important time.

Wang Yi noted, the extensive consensus has been reached at the dialogue and can be summarized into the following five points:

First, we agreed that although cooperation among the three countries has a short history, it has achieved positive results in enhancing unity and cooperation among the three countries, promoting the political reconciliation in Afghanistan, strengthening regional connectivity and promoting common development in the region. As a new type of sub-regional cooperation, China-Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation conforms to the urgent aspiration of the people in the region for peace and development. It is characterized by equality, openness, pragmatism and efficiency, and is showing vigorous vitality.

Second, we agreed that the Afghan situation is at a crucial moment and foreign forces should withdraw from Afghanistan in an orderly and responsible manner in order to secure a stable transition of the situation in Afghanistan. China and Pakistan expected the Afghan government and Taliban could reach reconciliation through peace talks, and all factions in Afghanistan should follow the principle of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and forge a dialogue framework as soon as possible to start domestic talks for an all-party accepted political arrangement to realize peace and restoration in Afghanistan at an early date.

Third, we agreed that the improvement in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations is of great significance to the two countries and to regional peace, stability and development. Since the inception of the trilateral dialogue, the Afghan and Pakistani sides have drawn up an action plan for peace and solidarity, defining the framework and direction for improving bilateral relations. The Chinese side appreciates the political responsibility and courage shown by leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is willing to continuously provide support and assistance for the two countries to conduct dialogue, improve relations and strengthen cooperation.

Fourth, we agreed that trilateral cooperation should be pushed forward under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The three sides are willing to enhance connectivity by extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to Afghanistan and jointly building a highway linking Kabul and Peshawar with international partners; the three sides will carry out social and livelihood cooperation, and we have agreed on specific projects such as drinking water, cold storage, medical treatment stations and reception facilities at the border ports between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and will start to implement them; and the three sides also agreed to deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carry out exchanges and training in such areas as diplomats, cultural relics and archaeology, red cross associations, media, and think tanks.

Fifth, we agreed that efforts should be made to deepen cooperation in counter-terrorism and security. Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding on counter-terrorism cooperation at the previous dialogue, the three sides reached the agreement on the list of projects to implement the memorandum and decided to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism capacity building and drug control at the dialogue this time. The three sides also agreed to strengthen intelligence sharing and law enforcement cooperation and continue to resolutely fight against the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and other terrorist forces.

Wang Yi noted, the three sides agreed to issue a joint statement to fully reflect the consensus and results of this dialogue. We also agreed to hold the fourth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Dialogue in China in 2020. Wang Yi expressed the welcome in advance for the Afghan and Pakistani representatives' attendance at the dialogue to be held in China in 2020.

Let us work together to advance China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation in the new historical context for constant development, inject more positive energy into an uncertain world and bring new hope of peace and development to the region suffering from wars and conflicts.

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