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Pak, China, Afghanistan hold trilateral meeting

05 March, 2012

ISLAMABAD: In a conspicuous international development, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan held a formal trilateral dialogue in the Chinese capital of Beijing and covered various aspects of mutual cooperation.

The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to the spirit of the 2002 Kabul declaration on good neighbourly relations, and to develop a constructive and supportive bilateral relationship based on the principle of territorial integrity, mutual respect, friendly relations, cooperation and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

A trilateral meeting of the three countries has taken place for the first time in the history of regional ties, a mechanism possibly born in anticipation of the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Afghanistan in the a few months. India, enhancing its interference and presence in Afghanistan, is also worrying to both Pakistan and China.

The first trilateral meeting was held in Beijing while the next will be held in Islamabad to be followed by one in Kabul. Pakistan's senior diplomat and Additional Foreign Secretary Ambassador Alamgir Khan Babar has returned to Islamabad after representing Pakistan at the meeting and will be submitting the report to the government in a day or two. A formal communique pertaining to the meeting is likely to be issued today (Monday) after approval by Foreign Secretary Syed Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Well-placed diplomatic sources told that China and Pakistan expressed their support for the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" reconciliation process while the three countries agreed that it was greatly significance that the three foreign ministries had held trilateral dialogue and exchanged views on the regional situation and cooperation between the three countries on a regular basis. The dialogue will play a positive role in enhancing friendly cooperation between the three countries and maintaining peace and stability in the region. The creation of the arrangements has provided a new model for unity and cooperation between the three countries.

The three day dialogue was chaired by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui, Chief of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of China, Dr Amanullah Jayhoon, Director General of the First Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and Ambassador Alamgir Babar, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had an important meeting with the heads of the three delegations.

Afghanistan and Pakistan stated that they were willing to develop their bilateral relations further and address regional challenges together. The Chinese side welcomed the idea and expressed willingness to play a constructive role, also expressing support for the statement on intra-Afghan peace and reconciliation issues on February 21, 2012 by President Hamid Karzai and the statement of February 24, 2012 by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

The three countries support the United Nation's leading role in the context of international cooperation. Also, they believe that the role of international organisations and cooperation mechanisms, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, should be brought into full play. The three countries support regional countries in enhancing political mutual trust and accommodating each other's concerns. They agreed to explore the feasibility of trilateral cooperation in areas of connectivity, resource development, and combating the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Sources pointed out that the head of the Chinese delegation eulogised Pakistan's role in regional cooperation. He talked highly of arrangements made by Pakistan for the safety and well being of Chinese experts working in different civil projects and especially referred to the provision of a huge contingent of the Pakistan Army for the engineers working on Gomal Zam Dam in Pakistan.

End.

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