China aims to improve ties between Afghanistan, Pakistan

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During his visit, the Chinese foreign minister will meet Pakistan leadership to discuss bilateral ties and the regional situation.

Wang says China wants to set up a series of meetings - with foreign ministers from the three countries - to strengthen dialogue.

Following his talks with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and National Security Adviser Haneef Atmar in kabul, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has had similar discussions with senior Pakistan government officials in Islamabad.

Pakistani leaders strongly dismiss USA and Afghan criticism of their counterterrorism efforts, saying the country has made "monumental sacrifices" in the war against terrorism.

China is also anxious about the spread of Islamist militancy from lawless ethnic Pashtun lands along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, in particular the danger of members of its Uighur Muslim minority being radicalized there.

China is also investing heavily in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But fears over safety arose last month when two Chinese workers were abducted in Quetta, the capital of the southwestern Balochistan province, which is at the heart of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project but racked by separatist and Islamist insurgencies. "We agreed on the need for a strategic balance in South Asia". Both countries agree that terrorism is a common challenge.

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In his annual Eid al-Fitr message, Afghanistan's Ghani said he had met Wang and the two had discussed peace and stability and the joint fight against terrorism.

The President said this initiative will ultimately establish peace in the region.

Gen Bajwa affirmed Pakistan will contribute positively towards the regional peace and stability while thanking the Chinese dignitary for his visit and unwavering Chinese support to Pakistan.

The three parties believed that peace and reconciliation was the fundamental solution to the Afghan issue, which could not be solved by violent means.

Addressing reporters at his first press conference at the world body's headquarters since assuming office in January, Guterres recently said that he is engaged in bringing about a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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