Trade, security in Afghanistan dominates talks with China, Pakistan FMs

Kabul, May 6 (EFE).- Trade and stability in the Afghan region were the focus of Saturday’s meeting between the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan and China in Islamabad, according to a statement from the Taliban, the Islamist group that rules Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Minister Malavi Amir Khan Muttaqi met with his counterparts from China, Qin Gang, and Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto, to discuss “politico-economic relations, regional stability, transit and trade relations,” Afghan deputy foreign ministry spokesman Hafiz Zia Ahmad said in a statement.

The trilateral meeting followed another between Muttaqi and his Chinese counterpart in the Pakistani capital, in which “important political, commercial, economic, transit and bilateral issues” were discussed, Ahmad said on Twitter.

China is one of the few countries to maintain direct contact with Kabul since the withdrawal of US troops, despite the fact that the Taliban government is not recognized by the international community.

The Asian giant has held several meetings with Taliban officials since the regime change in Kabul, most recently in April in the Uzbek city of Samarkand at a meeting of seven of Afghanistan’s neighboring nations to discuss the situation in Kabul.

A year earlier, Qin’s predecessor as foreign minister, Wang Yi, met with senior officials of the Taliban’s interim government in Kabul, including Muttaqi, in one of the first official visits by another country to Afghanistan since the Islamic fundamentalists returned to power in August 2021.

China sees this tripartite format as a way to expand its economic infrastructure projects to Afghanistan by including it in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, a trade route to connect the Chinese city of Kasghar with the Pakistani port of Gwadar (southwest) in Balochistan, providing the Chinese giant with a gateway to the Arabian Sea. EFE


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