|Qin Gang: Build Closer and More Friendly Relationships as Neighbors and Partners|
On May 6, 2023 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari jointly met the press in Islamabad.
When asked by a journalist about China's expectations of the upcoming fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, Qin Gang said that the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue is the first foreign ministers' dialogue held by the three parties since the major changes in the Afghan situation in 2021, and marks the restart of the trilateral cooperation mechanism among China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As an important platform for carrying out exchanges and cooperation related to the Afghan issue, the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue is conducive to pooling consensus among countries in the region on the Afghan issue, and safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Qin Gang pointed out that China, Afghanistan and Pakistan are friendly neighboring countries linked by mountains and rivers. In particular, Afghanistan and Pakistan, sharing long boundaries of more than 2600 kilometers, are inseparable neighbors, brothers sharing weal and woe, and a community with a shared future. Qin expressed his hope that the two sides will adhere to good-neighborliness and friendship, and find solutions to respective differences through dialogue and consultations.
Qin Gang said that China expects to increase good-neighborliness and mutual trust among the three countries in the spirit of mutual respect, candidness and friendship, mutual benefit and win-win results through the meeting, promote the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, explore the advancement of cooperation in such fields as trade, investment and connectivity, enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges among the three parties, expand common interests, and build closer and more friendly relationships as neighbors and partners. China is ready to strengthen counter-terrorism and security cooperation with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and join efforts to firmly combat terrorist forces including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, so as to defend regional security and stability.
Qin Gang noted that China and Pakistan actively support peaceful reconstruction in Afghanistan and hope that the Afghan Taliban will build an inclusive government and exercise moderate governance, coexist with neighboring countries in harmony, and in particular, heed neighboring countries' security concerns and take stronger measures to crack down on various terrorist forces in Afghanistan.
Qin Gang emphasized the call on the country primarily responsible for the Afghan situation to shoulder its responsibility in real earnest, and take more concrete actions to help Afghanistan realize peace, stability, and improvement of people's livelihood, instead of continuing to freeze the assets of the Afghan people and impose unilateral sanctions on Afghanistan.