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Afghanistan, Pakistan And China To Jointly Work For Regional Peace: Chinese Official

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beijing (KT) (BNA) Chinese assistant foreign minister, Liu Jinacho in a meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan media delegation in Beijing stated that security in Afghanistan and Pakistan links to stability in the region.
“China will work with Afghanistan to implement the important consensus reached between the countries’ two leaders, President Ghani and President Xi Jinping in October of last year in Beijing, agreed to move forward bilateral strategic communication and practical cooperation, map out and follow through the assistance and training program for Afghanistan” Liu said in a briefing, adding that China will help to expand the friendly ties with Afghanistan.
Liu has further said that there have been some complications between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the past but the recent interactions have seen improvement in bilateral ties.
“In order to remove mutual mistrust and improve relations, China has encouraged start of trilateral meetings between Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. First round of talks was held in February and we are happy things are improving,” he added.
The Chinese assistant foreign minister cautioned the two countries against misunderstandings, saying that both Pakistan and Afghanistan shall bear in minds that regional peace and development are interlinked.
“Peace and development is a shared goal and we need to work together to build a new partnership. So there should be no place for the mistrust. The Afghan peace and reconciliation is a shared goal and we hope all regional countries would work together to achieve this shared destiny,” he added.
He said the tripartite partnership between Afghanistan, Pakistan and China is helping build consensus among the two neighboring countries. He said the media can greatly help in strengthening the people to people relationship between the three countries and for the same purpose china is helping media exchange program. This would help bridge the people of the three countries who are tied in bonds of friendship and shared cultural, social and historical aspects. 
Demise of Taliban Leader                 
China had earlier said that the announcement of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had made Afghan peace process more authoritative as the negotiating parties now know whom they should talk to.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Liu Jianchao expressed these views here at the foreign ministry building while briefing a delegation comprising of journalists from Afghanistan and Pakistan on the Afghan-led peace process.   
This was for the first time Chinese officials made a direct reference to the fast changing developments taking place in Afghanistan in wake of the announcement of the demise of Taliban’s supreme leader. 
“After the announcement of death of Mullah Omar, there are some domestic changes taking place in Afghanistan. We are focused and closely monitoring these changes. With the announcement of Mullah Omar’s death, the negotiating parties are clear who to talk to. This makes the peace process more authoritative,” said the Chinese minister.
Asked to comment over the raise of ISIS and divisions emerging within the Taliban ranks following the start of the peace process, Liu said the factions emerging within the Taliban ranks reflected the complexity involved with the preprocess and countering ISIS threats need a joint efforts of the three countries.
“We need to observe patience. Both parties will discuss safeguards. Military safeguard is not the best safeguard. We need to evolve smarter safeguards. Peace talks have just started and there are many challenges. As peace talks advance, safeguards would be discussed. In this regard, we will keep a close contact with our Pakistani counterparts,” he added.   
He said that the internal power transition among the Taliban took place smoothly. “We remain committed with our Pakistani friends to help restart the peace process. Since the talk’s process is complicated and might take time, there is a need to remain positive and hopeful,” he added. .
The Chinese minister also cautioned the stakeholders against skepticism, making it clear that the peace talks were the only way out for the Afghan peace and progress and this process must continue.
He said that China had welcomed the commencement of the peace process between Afghan Taliban and the government which was facilitated by Pakistan and China.
“Pakistan and China set the stage for peace talks as Afghan government and Taliban wanted to take this initiative forward. We will keep working for success of the peace talks as both the parties have expressed their trust in Pakistan and China,” he added.
He said that peace process was a complicated matter but it was hoped that both the parties of the conflict would work out their differences and find a solution to the problem despite challenges. He said the Afghan people had suffered for many decades in the past and it was time now for giving peace a chance.
Answering a question that whether China would postpone or select another country for its economic projects, in particular the Silk Road initiative due to security reasons, the Chinese assistant foreign minister said, that at the outset all the focuses should be made to bring peace in Afghanistan. “Developments can be made when security is fully established, China is trying to ease the peace process so that to pave the way for developments to take place in Afghanistan.” He added, saying that his country is hopeful for the outcome of the peace talks.
Arefi, Beijing

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