China, Pakistan’s foreign ministers meet Taliban’s Muttaqi, agree to restart dialogue mechanism

Foreign ministers of China and Pakistan in a meeting with Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Saturday agreed on multiple topics including, neighborly relations, security, counterterrorism, connectivity, and trade and investment during a tripartite meeting held in Islamabad, Pakistan, media reports say.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari chaired the meeting, with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Taliban’s Amir Khan Muttaqi attending.

They also agreed to maintain good relations and friendship, enhance mutual political trust, respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose all attempts that undermine regional peace and stability.

The three sides meanwhile agreed to strengthen cooperation in counterterrorism and restart a dialogue mechanism under the framework of Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.

They supported the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to further stretch to Afghanistan so as to promote connectivity among the three countries and regions and realize sustainable development.

According to China’s CCTV, Qin said the successful convention of the meeting signals the restart of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation mechanism, and via such a cooperation channel, China is willing to enhance strategic communication and policy coordination among the three countries, promote good neighborliness and friendship and mutual political trust, and strengthen the bond of interest of the three countries.

Muttaqi and Zardari said cooperation between the three nations is of utter importance for regional peace and prosperity. Afghanistan and Pakistan would actively promote tripartite cooperation and lay out a roadmap of cooperation in politics, security and economy.

They also vowed to safeguard the common interests of the three countries to realize mutual benefits, attain a win-win situation and deliver benefits to the people of the three nations and other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, Muttaqi met separately with Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Asim Munir, a Taliban spokesman said, adding that security in the region and facilitating the commute for Afghanistan’s migrants and other relevant matters were discussed in the meeting.

Muttaqi’s trip to Pakistan was made possible after the UN Security Council agreed to allow him to travel to Islamabad on Monday. Muttaqi has long been subject to a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under Security Council sanctions.

According to a letter to the 15-member Security Council Taliban sanctions committee, Pakistan’s UN mission requested an exemption for Muttaqi to travel between May 6-9 “for a meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China.”