IN THE NEWS: CHINA WANTS ‘IMPROVED TIES BETWEEN AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN’ (SEPTEMBER 8, 2017)

Written by admin on Friday, September 8th, 2017

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

China Wants ‘Improved Ties Between Afghanistan, Pakistan’
SOURCE: TOLO News
Friday, September 8, 2017

Amidst an escalating pressure on Pakistan from the United States to cooperate with the war against terrorism, the foreign ministers of China and Pakistan appeared at a joint press conference in Beijing on Friday.
The two officials discussed security in the region and other bilateral issues between China and Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, said his country will support Pakistan in the war against terrorism, adding that peace in Afghanistan remains in the interest of both countries.

He said China wants improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The foreign minister stated that by the end of the year there will be the first meeting between the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Before the end of this year, there will be the first China, Pakistan and Afghanistan foreign ministers’ meeting in China. We have identified three priority areas which are strategic communication, security dialogue and practical cooperation. And on that basis we will work on the tri-lateral cooperation starting from the easier matters, and with a goal of establishing a new platform for regional cooperation.”

At the same event, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif said the relations between China and Pakistan are exemplary and that Pakistan deeply values China’s support for the country’s territorial integrity.

He said there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and that the Kabul-Islamabad tensions should end through political talks.

“The solution to the Afghan problem is fundamentally a political and not military one,” Asif said.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations meeting in New York within the next two weeks.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif and the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani, discussed the upcoming meeting in a phone call on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Asif has said that his country is ready to help Afghanistan bring peace.
Analysts say the remarks by Pakistani officials are the continuance of Islamabad’s duel-faced policy towards Afghanistan.

“Pakistan will not be honest in delivering on its promises to Afghanistan but in the meantime it tries to deceive the United States and build the regional coalition in a way to use it against Washington,” said Ajmal Balochzada, a political affairs analyst.

 

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