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Afghanistan Hosts Pakistan, China For Talks

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani (file photo)

The foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China met on December 15 in the Afghan capital to discuss trade, development, and security.

The relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan was a major issue, with all three countries agreeing that a peaceful end to the war would have economic and trade benefits for the entire region.

Before the meeting, Shahussain Murtazawi, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan president, said the foreign ministers of the three countries will discuss everything from regional economic development to counterterrorism.

In a news conference after the trilateral talks, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said Kabul had yet to see "tangible progress" from Pakistan "in the fight against terrorism." He said Afghanistan wanted to see some "specific measures" from Islamabad to end the violence. He did not offer details.

"We want result-oriented actions from Pakistan in bringing peace and the sincere support of the country for the reconciliation process," Rabbani said.

For his part, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Islamabad wanted a fresh start in its relationship with Afghanistan.

"The time has come to move on, to stop pointing fingers, join hands for a future," said Qureshi. "If you want Pakistan to act for reconciliation then stop pointing fingers at Pakistan."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to solve their problems peacefully, adding that the three sides agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorist groups.

“We support Afghanistan and Pakistan efforts for peace and we call on the Taliban to join the peace process,” Wang said.

“Cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China is important to bring peace to Afghanistan," he said.

It was the second such meeting of the three neighboring countries.

Qureshi is attending the meeting on his second visit to Kabul since assuming office.

“Both Pakistan and China desire peace, prosperity, and development in Afghanistan,” Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad before his departure.

"We are carrying the message of friendship and peace to Afghanistan,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by broadcaster Geo TV.

Afghanistan and the United States accuse Islamabad of providing support to Taliban militants fighting Afghan and international forces in the country.

Pakistan rejects the accusations.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, TOLO, and Geo TV
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