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Extending CPEC to Kabul to improve connectivity, FM tells Chinese counterpart

30 Mar, 2022
The foreign minister stressed that relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and reaffirmed the government’s resolve to further deepen the "Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership". Shah Mahmood Qureshi/ Twitter
The foreign minister stressed that relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and reaffirmed the government’s resolve to further deepen the "Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership". Shah Mahmood Qureshi/ Twitter

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has emphasized deeper engagement between Pakistan and China as well as Afghanistan’s other neighbours to promote peace, stability and development in Kabul and facilitate regional connectivity through the extension of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan.

He expressed this during a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday on the sideline of the third meeting of the ‘Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s Neighbouring Countries’ in Beijing.

Qureshi issued a video message after the meeting.

“The two foreign ministers exchanged views on bilateral strategic, economic and security cooperation; Covid-19 pandemic; peace, stability and development in Afghanistan; and regional and international issues of mutual interest,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The foreign minister stressed that relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and reaffirmed the government’s resolve to further deepen the "Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership".

He reiterated Pakistan’s firm adherence to the “One-China” Policy and continued support on issues of China’s core interests. FM Qureshi also thanked Beijing for its consistent support to Islamabad’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political stability and socio-economic development.

Qureshi recalled the recent high-level exchanges between the two sides, including the prime minister’s visit to China in February for the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics and State Councilor Wang Yi’s visit to Islamabad to attend the OIC-Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting as a special guest. He expressed satisfaction at the steady upward trajectory of Pakistan-China relations.

He highlighted that the leaders’ consensus was translating into high-quality development of CPEC Phase-II, and burgeoning cooperation in diverse areas of cooperation like industrial development, agricultural modernization and information technology.

The two sides also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine. Highlighting Pakistan’s position calling for immediate cessation of hostility, provision of humanitarian assistance and continued efforts for a solution through dialogue and diplomacy, the foreign minister conveyed readiness to help facilitate a diplomatic solution including through OIC platform.

Qureshi is accompanied by the foreign secretary and Pakistan’s special representative on Afghanistan on the trip.