China wants to see harmonious Pak-Afghan relations: Wang Yi

BEIJING:China, more than anyone else, wants to see a harmonious relation between Pakistan and Afghanistan and will contribute to any effort that helps improve the mutual trust and relations between the two sides, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Talking to Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atma on telephone, he said China was willing to hold a China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ dialogue at an appropriate time to push forward cooperation among the three countries, according to a statement issued by Chinese Foreign Ministry here on Tuesday.

Wang expressed support for the Afghan government’s positive proposals on peace and reconciliation and hoped that all parties stay confident and patient for an early political agreement.

“The future political arrangements of Afghanistan should feature broad representation, strong determination to combating terrorism of all forms, and firm commitment to a foreign policy of peace and friendship,” he added.

The Chinese foreign minister said as a neighbor and friend of Afghanistan, China respected the Afghan people’s choice of their own development path and stood ready to continue to support, mediate and facilitate the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and further play its constructive role.

Wang noted that the two countries enjoyed the tradition of mutual understanding, trust and support. As a neighbor and strategic and cooperative partner of Afghanistan, China was never absent when Afghanistan was in need and always lends a helping hand without any hesitation.

He said China would continue to take good care of the Afghan nationals in China and trusts that the Afghan government will also ensure the safety and health of Chinese nationals in Afghanistan.

“As this year marks the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries, China will work with Afghanistan to deepen the Belt and Road cooperation and cooperation in other fields for the benefit of the two countries and peoples,” he added.

Atmar stressed that the Afghan government was firmly committed to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, and had formulated plans for a comprehensive ceasefire and opening of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“Afghanistan highly appreciates China’s constructive role and hopes that China will continue to work with regional countries to urge Taliban to reach an early agreement with the Afghan government,” he added.

The Afghan vice foreign minister said Afghanistan was also firmly committed to promoting the tripartite cooperation with China and Pakistan, and hoped that China would continue to assist Afghanistan in improving its relations with Pakistan.

Atmar hailed China’s effective Covid-19 response and thanked China for providing a large amount of medical supplies and sharing experience.

He said the Afghan side would do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in Afghanistan, adding, “The Belt and Road Initiative, warmly welcomed and actively participated by Afghanistan has brought benefits to the two countries and the wider region.”

Afghanistan was committed to working with China to promote the Belt and Road cooperation and take the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two sides to a new level, he added.