Ahead of the trilateral meeting between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan later today, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto on Saturday said that peace and stability in Afghanistan remain “vital” to the region and reiterated Pakistan would work with “all stakeholders for a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan.”
Speaking at a press conference following the fourth round of Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad today which was co-chaired by Bilawal and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, the foreign minister said: “Peace and stability in Afghanistan remain vital to the socio-economic prosperity, connectivity, and development in the region. We will continue to work with all stakeholders for a peaceful, stable prosperous, and united Afghanistan.”
During the dialogue, Pakistan and China also reiterated their abiding commitment to the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Later, during the press conference, FM Bilawal pointed out that this year marks the completion of a decade of CPEC which has accelerated socio-economic development, job creation and improvement of people’s livelihoods in Pakistan.
He said that CPEC remains a “win-win economic initiative” opened to all investors around the world and that Pakistan remains profoundly grateful to China for its generous and timely assistance as the country continued to grapple with the headwinds in the global economy.
FM Bilawal also underscored the support both countries had for each other on issues of core national interests in both bilateral engagements and at multilateral forums and expressed appreciation of China’s steadfast support in all issues, including “its principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute”.
Lauding the partnership between the two countries, the FM added that their ties had strengthened over the years and enjoyed consensus across generations and political divides.
Bilawal further shared that the two ministers had an in-depth exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation.
“We agreed to the significance of this partnership for the mutual benefit of our two nations in the face of new developments,” he said, adding that both countries had stood with each other for decades and would continue to work together in the decades to come.
“Pakistan will continue to firmly support China on all core issues of its national interests,” Bilawal maintained, calling the friendship between the two countries “irreversible”.
“The mutual warmth and trust between the peoples of two countries is a shining example of multi-cultural cooperation. This friendship is a historic reality and consensus choice of two nations,” he said.
Moreover, the foreign minister emphatically stated Pakistan’s stance against bloc politics or greater power competition of any kind.
He said Pakistan looks forward to working together with all countries to address common challenges of development and connectivity and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to engaging with China to promote cooperation in the light of emerging global concerns like human-induced climate change.