FMs of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan reaffirm commitment to extend CPEC to Kabul

CPEC Afghanistan

Islamabad: In the trilateral dialogue of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan, the three neighbouring countries reaffirmed their commitment to further their cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and to jointly extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang of China, and Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi of Afghanistan participated in the dialogue representing their respective countries.

During the dialogue, the FMs stressed that the importance of existing projects, including the CASA-1000, TAPI, and Trans-Afghan Railways, would enhance regional connectivity, as well as ensure economic uplift and prosperity for the people of this region.

They emphasized pushing forward the “hard connectivity” in infrastructure and “soft connectivity” in norms and standards, further exploring the facilitating measures for the movement of people and trade activities between the three countries. They also agreed to enhance transit trade through Gwadar Port.

The three sides agreed to carry out exchange and training programmes and to strengthen people-to-people exchanges by conducting the trilateral programmes in accordance with the List of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Practical Cooperation Projects, adopted by Foreign Ministers in this dialogue. They also expressed satisfaction with the existing trilateral cooperation.

The foreign ministers underlined their commitment to continuing their collaboration in areas of shared interest, such as economic growth, capacity building, and raising the standard of living. They decided to intensify their collaboration in areas like border management, capacity building, trade, energy, and agriculture.

The ministers urged the international community to cooperate with Afghanistan’s government in a positive way.

In this regard, they praised the efforts undertaken to encourage conversation and constructive engagement with the Interim Afghan Government under the auspices of various institutions and formats, particularly the Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan.

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They expressed gratitude to the neighbouring nations, especially Pakistan, for its generous hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees. They urged the international community to lend these nations and Afghanistan the support and assistance they need to ensure the refugees’ dignified return and successful reintegration into Afghan society.