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FM Qureshi leaves for China to attend third meeting on Afghanistan

Beijing says the dialogue is expected to encourage the Afghan side to build an open and inclusive political structure
Updated 29 Mar, 2022 02:34pm
Besides attending the neighbouring countries ministerial meeting, the foreign minister will interact with counterparts from participating countries. PTV News Official/ Twitter
Besides attending the neighbouring countries ministerial meeting, the foreign minister will interact with counterparts from participating countries. PTV News Official/ Twitter

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday left for a three-day visit to China, starting on March 29 to 31 to participate in the third meeting between the foreign ministers of countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Qureshi will attend the meeting on the invitation of State Councilor and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wherein the representatives of Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will also be present.

Besides attending a meeting with the ministers, he will also interact with other leaders .

Pakistan had initiated the neighbouring countries moot in September 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, with a view to evolving a regional approach on the situation in Kabul. The first meeting was hosted by Islamabad on September 8, last year.

The second meeting was held in Tehran on October 27, 2021.

The Foreign Office issued a press release on Tuesday, stating “Pakistan fully supports a regional approach on Afghanistan for promoting durable peace and stability in the region."

It added that the country would continue supporting the "international community’s efforts to advance the shared objectives of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous and connected Afghanistan".

In a statement, China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the dialogue was expected to promote the Afghan side to build an open and inclusive political structure, with a stable domestic and foreign policy, that can effectively combat terrorism.

The spokesperson said: "China will urge countries to build further consensus among them to jointly promote stability in the country, support the Afghan people, and convey voices of Afghanistan's neighbours to the international community.

"China hopes the international community will provide greater support to Afghanistan, and we call on the United States to take primary responsibility for Afghanistan's economic reconstruction."

Last week, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Kabul on his first trip to Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power, meeting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

The Taliban said they had assured Beijing’s most senior diplomat about any concerns China thinks may "emerge from Afghan soil".

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Shah Mahmood Qureshi

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