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Pak-Afghan appealed Taliban militants to join peace talks

27 December 2017

However, a cautious approach is being taken before extending the CPEC to Afghanistan, with Beijing saying that the three countries will have to reach a gradual consensus, tackling easier, smaller projects first.

The three sides reaffirmed that a broad-based and inclusive peace and reconciliation process, which is "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" and fully supported regionally and internationally, is the most viable solution to end the violence in Afghanistan.

China on Tuesday flagged the possible inclusion of Afghanistan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - a move that is likely to irk India.

The three sides agreed to further communicate and consult on developing of the memorandum of understanding on counter-terrorism cooperation.

The foreign minister said the United States had failed to establish peace in Afghanistan, adding Washington was blaming Pakistan after its own failure.

A group of selected Pakistani envoys, including those in India and China, today began debating key foreign policy issues in an effort to chalk out a response to the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the proposal during a trilateral meet with his Pakistani and Afghani counterparts - Khawaja Asif and Salahuddin Rabbani respectively, in Beijing.

As the first meeting of its kind since the three countries agreed to establish a trilateral dialogue mechanism in June, the foreign ministers' meeting aims for dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan and to reinforce trilateral cooperation in politics, economy and security.

"So China and Pakistan are willing to look at with Afghanistan, on the basis of win-win, mutually beneficial principles, using an appropriate means to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, " he added. The three sides reiterated their firm resolves to fight the menace of terrorism.

The three nations also agreed to step up their counter-terrorism efforts and not allow other countries, groups or individuals to utilize their territories to commit acts of terror.

"This cooperation is not directed at any country and any party". The three sides agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist organisations and individuals without any discrimination.

Speaking to the media in Beijing on Tuesday, Mr. Wang advocated that Afghanistan could join connectivity initiatives, in view of the urgency of improving its people's lives.

She said the three sides have agreed to stay committed to the four goals - support Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and reconciliation peace process, help Afghanistan and Pakistan to improve and develop ties, promote joint security of the region, promote regional connectivity, and BRI. Khawaja Asif said his country and China were "iron brothers".

"In the long run, through Afghanistan, we will gradually connect the CPEC with the China-Central and Western Asia Economic Corridor", he said.