CPEC to be extended to Afghanistan

CPEC to be extended to Afghanistan

IANS Photo

Islamabad, May 9 (IANS) The Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen trilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and jointly extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.

Following the trilateral dialogue, the three sides issued a joint statement, expressing their determination to leverage Afghanistan's potential as a hub for regional connectivity, Dawn reported.

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

During the meeting, the three Ministers emphasised the significance of ongoing projects such as CASA-1000, TAPI, and Trans-Afghan Railways, highlighting their potential to boost regional connectivity and promote economic development and prosperity in the region.

They also emphasised the need to advance "hard connectivity" in infrastructure and "soft connectivity" in norms and standards.

They agreed to explore measures to facilitate the movement of people and trade activities. They also decided to boost transit trade through the Gwadar Port, Dawn reported.

The Foreign Ministers acknowledged that a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region.

They emphasised the critical role of trilateral cooperation in promoting this objective.

The three sides stressed the importance of preventing any individual, group, or party, including the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), from using their territories to harm or threaten regional security and interests or carry out terrorist activities.

They also stressed the need to avoid interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs and instead focus on promoting peace, stability, and reconstruction in the country, Dawn reported.