Nations pledge to support regional stability

Updated: 2012-03-01 08:02

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The first China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Dialogue concluded in Beijing on Wednesday, with the three countries pledging to support regional countries in enhancing political mutual trust and accommodating each others' concerns, said the Foreign Ministry.

The three countries agreed to explore the feasibility of trilateral cooperation in connectivity, resource development and combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, the ministry said, adding that the Afghan reconciliation process and regional socioeconomic development are the keys to overcoming the current challenges.

"China and Pakistan support the 'Afghan-led, Afghan-owned' reconciliation process," said the ministry.

"The creation of the arrangement has provided a new model for unity and cooperation among the three countries. The dialogue will play a positive role in enhancing friendly cooperation among the three and maintaining peace and stability in the region."

The trilateral dialogue was chaired by Luo Zhaohui, the director-general of the ministry's department of Asian affairs, Alamgir Babar, additional secretary of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry and Amanullah Jayhoon, director general of the first political department of the Afghan Foreign Ministry.

Analysts spoke highly of the significance of the dialogue, which marked the beginning of new process for countries in the region to tackle problems by themselves.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered from turbulence and wars in the region for a long time, which have been created by third parties outside the region," said Su Hao, director of the center for strategic and conflict management at China Foreign Affairs University.

"As a neighbor of Afghanistan and Pakistan, China is also a country in this region, and the two countries' peace and stability greatly influence the situation in China. It is essential for China to deal with issues in the region."

Shen Dingli, director of the Center for American Studies at the Shanghai-based Fudan University, agreed with Su, saying that China should positively shape the stability around itself before the security problems transfer to it.

"The stability of neighboring countries is good not only for China but all the relevant countries," said Shen.

How to maintain the stability and development of the region has aroused great concerns, as the United States has decided to withdraw 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan this year, and Pakistan has been challenged by the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Last Saturday, a US lieutenant colonel and a major were shot at close range while working in an office in the heart of Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, one of the most closely guarded buildings in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, around 18,000 people fled their homes in Khyber, Pakistan, last October, where Pakistani troops have been fighting Islamist militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban, according to Agence France-Presse.

"Security problems in the region remain complicated, there is still a long way to go for all of the countries in the region," Su said.