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China-Pak discuss US drawdown in Afghanistan

By Simran Kashyap
|

Beijing, Dec 26: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Chinese counterpart Tuesday and discussed the situation arising out of the US decision to pull nearly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan and resurgence of the Taliban in the war-torn country.

Qureshi, who is on a three-day four-nation tour, arrived here Tuesday morning following his visit to Afghanistan and Iran on Monday.

China-Pak discuss US drawdown in Afghanistan

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here that Qureshi met Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan.

Why the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will impact Kashmir

Both sides reiterated their determination to adopt a joint course of action for regional peace and stability, to promote connectivity and work for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

In a sudden move, President Donald Trump last week announced his decision to pull around half of the 14,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. The move has stunned and dismayed allies, diplomats and officials in Kabul. The announcement comes during a renewed push for talks with the Taliban to end the 17-year war.

"They both believed that the military means cannot resolve the problem. The political reconciliation is the only viable way out.

"Various parties are willing to maintain close communication and strategic coordination in this regard. The two sides will also advance our all-weather partnership and improve our all dimensional partnership and cooperation," Hua said.

Trump's decision to drastically reduce the troops was welcomed by the Taliban.

Both the US and Afghanistan have been sharply criticising Pakistan for allegedly backing the Taliban whose leadership is reported to have been entrenched in the tribal areas in Pakistan.

China which shares borders with Afghanistan has established a trilateral foreign ministers' mechanism for reconciliation between Afghanistan and Pakistan and has conducted separate meetings with Taliban officials.

US to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan

Asked how China viewed the US' decision to reduce its troops' strength, Hua said "the action to pull-out should be decided by the US itself."

"China always believes that military means cannot resolve the Afghanistan issue. The political reconciliation process that is owned and led by Afghanistan is the only viable way-out.

"This is what China has been working for constructively and we also hope we can join other parties to help accelerate such a peace and reconciliation process so that Afghanistan people can enjoy peace and development at an early date," she said.

China also believe that security, stability and development in Afghanistan is also a "good thing" for the region and hoped that it can join efforts to advance the process of reconciliation.

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