Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain (center R) meets with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (center L) in Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
ISLAMABAD, June 25 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday hailed the efforts made by Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve their ties, reiterating that China will continue to work for the improvement of the relationship between the two countries.
During his meeting with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Wang said his ongoing visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan is mainly aimed to push for the continued improvement of the relations between the two countries.
He said the joint statement issued after friendly consultations between China, Afghanistan and Pakistan demonstrated the determination of Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve their ties and build mutual trust, sending a positive signal to the world.
Hussain expressed his thanks for the efforts made by the Chinese foreign minister to help improve his country’s relationship with Afghanistan.
The improvement of the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only in the interests of the two countries, but also conducive to regional peace, stability and development, the Pakistani president said.
He said his country remains committed to developing peaceful and friendly relations with neighboring countries and resolving disputes peacefully through dialogue.
As a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Pakistan is looking forward to enhancing cooperation with all parties and jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the region, he added.
With regard to Pakistan-China relations, Hussain said the two countries are iron brothers and on issues concerning China’s core interests, Pakistan will unswervingly support China’s position.
He pointed out that Pakistan-China relationship is a model of country-to-country relations.
Wang, for his part, said China and Pakistan, being all-weather strategic cooperative partners, always respect, understand and support each other.
He said China stands ready to work with Pakistan to well implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries during their meetings in Beijing last month when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Wang said China wishes to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan within the SCO framework and also stands ready to work with Pakistan for the smooth implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as Pakistan is China’s important partner in the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.
Wang also expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s clampdown on the violent terrorist group – the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement.”
When meeting with Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, Wang noted that one of the core contents of the joint statement is the establishment of the Pak-Afghan bilateral crisis managing mechanism, which involves timely sharing of information, rebuilding mutual political trust and strengthening crisis management.
This is a key step towards improving the Pak-Afghan ties, he said, adding that China appreciates the openness and tolerance demonstrated by both countries in this regard.
He hoped the two sides would reach agreement on details of the crisis managing mechanism as soon as possible, and fully implement the proposals in the statement.
Bajwa thanked China for its mediation efforts and expressed his support for the joint communique, saying it is in line with the interests of various parties, and is conducive to regional peace and stability.
On Sino-Pakistan ties, Wang said China appreciates Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifice to the global fight against terrorism. He thanked the Pakistani side for its firm support in the battle against the violent terrorist group – the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement.”
China will continue standing side by side with Pakistan on issues concerning the latter’s core interests, said the Chinese foreign minister.
Bajwa, for his part, noted that Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. He said the Pakistani military is committed to the global fight against terrorism, prohibiting any terrorist group from operating on Pakistani soil.
He said his country will continue combating the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement.”