China, Russia and Pak hold meeting over Afghanistan



Beijing: China and Russia have held a consultative meeting with Pakistan to discuss the emerging security situation in Afghanistan in view of the US plans to withdraw its troops from Kabul next year.

The trilateral was held here yesterday as a follow up of India, China, Russia National Security Advisors' meeting held in Moscow on February 21.

Diplomats from China, Russia and Pakistan held talks on the Afghanistan issue in Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Wednesday night.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui met with Russian and Pakistani delegations, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The three parties are of the view that the development of Afghanistan's situation is closely related to regional security and stability.

China, Russia and Pakistan are close neighbours of Afghanistan, and the talks were conducive to increasing understanding, deepening trust and enhancing coordination among the three parties, the Ministry statement said.

The talks reportedly focussed on the likely Taliban push towards Kabul plunging the country in chaos and bloodshed.

China, Russia and India held a similar meeting on February 21 in Moscow in which National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon took part along with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Diplomatic sources say that the meeting was part of consultative process to discuss efforts to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan when the US and other NATO countries forces leave Kabul next year.

With over USD three billion investments in Afghanistan and a volatile situation in Xinjiang, bordering that country where Islamic militants were fomenting a separatist movement, China too is reportedly concerned about the post US troops withdrawal scenario.

Diplomatically, it was regarded as significant that China held consultations with India besides Russia before yesterday's structured meeting with Pakistan, its close ally.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry officials the Moscow meeting focussed on the current situation in Afghanistan and the region as well as the future situation once the foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had said soon after the meeting that as close neighbours of Afghanistan, China, India and Russia are willing to work together with countries in the region and the international community to support Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and reconciliation process.

About yesterday's meeting, the Ministry said the parties agreed to make concerted efforts to maintain peace, stability and security in Afghanistan as well as the region, and to support the reconciliation process of the country run by Afghans themselves.

They also agreed to support the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in which India and Pakistan are observers to play a bigger role on the issue.

The diplomats from the three nations also discussed beefing up cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and drug control within the framework of the Istanbul Process.

In November 2011, Afghanistan's neighbours gathered in Turkey and reached an agreement known as Istanbul Process, presenting a new vision for regional cooperation and promoting a stronger and sustainable economic future. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry officials the Moscow meeting focussed on the current situation in Afghanistan and the region as well as the future situation once the foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had said soon after the meeting that as close neighbours of Afghanistan, China, India and Russia are willing to work together with countries in the region and the international community to support Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and reconciliation process.

About yesterday's meeting, the Ministry said the parties agreed to make concerted efforts to maintain peace, stability and security in Afghanistan as well as the region, and to support the reconciliation process of the country run by Afghans themselves.

They also agreed to support the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in which India and Pakistan are observers to play a bigger role on the issue.

The diplomats from the three nations also discussed beefing up cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and drug control within the framework of the Istanbul Process.

In November 2011, Afghanistan's neighbours gathered in Turkey and reached an agreement known as Istanbul Process, presenting a new vision for regional cooperation and promoting a stronger and sustainable economic future.

PTI