China calls on Taliban to enter Afghan peace process

After inking a tripartite deal for cooperation with Afghanistan and Pakistan in Kabul, China has urged the Taliban to enter peace process.

Addressing a joint news conference with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts in Kabul on Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said the three sides agreed to jointly fight militant groups.

"We support Afghanistan and Pakistan efforts for peace and we call on the Taliban to join the peace process, Wang said, adding cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan and China is important to bring peace in Afghanistan.

Wang said Beijing is ready to extend support to all mechanisms for peace in Afghanistan.

Next year, Afghanistan would celebrate its 100th Independence Day, and a peaceful settlement of the conflict by then would be a good gift for the Afghans who have suffered for up to 40 years of war and instability, he added.

Salahuddin Rabbani, Afghan foreign minister, said at a news conference that Kabul awaits practical measures from Pakistan to replicate the pledges for peace. He thanked Beijing for its cooperation for peace and development in the war-ravaged country.

However, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistani foreign minister, said the blame game and finger pointing would not help and that Islamabad and Kabul must cooperate for peace and development.

Earlier, Afghan president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, oversaw the signing of the MoU among the three countries for counter-terrorism measures.

It was the second meeting of the three foreign ministers after their first meeting in Beijing last year. The three foreign ministers are expected to meet in Islamabad next year.

A joint statement released after the Second Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Dialogue noted that the three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, deepening cooperation and advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives.

The three sides reiterated their resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and without any distinction, the joint statement said, adding they reiterated their support to an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led as well as an inclusive peace process.

Source: Anadolu Agency