19:24 GMT24 June 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China and Pakistan have expressed readiness to expand trade exchanges with Afghanistan and assist the country's peaceful recovery, the foreign ministers of the three nations said in a joint statement.

    The joint statement was made following trilateral negotiations held in the format of a video conference on Thursday, with the agenda focused on the peace process in Afghanistan.

    "China and Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the peaceful recovery of Afghanistan and stand ready to expand economic and trade exchanges with Afghanistan and help Afghanistan expand its opportunities for independent development", the Chinese foreign ministry said.

    The three diplomats also noted that the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration into the Afghan society should be part of Afghanistan's comprehensive peace agreement.

    Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator, and other delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021.
    © REUTERS / POOL
    Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator, and other delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021.
    "The sides ... expect and welcome the early return of the Taliban to the political life of Afghanistan. The parties confirm that they do not support the creation of any government of Afghanistan with the help of armed force, they support that Afghanistan becomes an independent, sovereign, secure state", the statement read.

    The ministers added that the internal conflict in the Central Asian country should be settled through negotiations, calling on all parties to declare "a complete ceasefire, put an end to senseless violence and create the necessary environment for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban" as soon as possible.

    The negotiations took place within the framework of the trilateral dialogue mechanism of the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan created in 2017 at the initiative of Beijing.

    Tags:
    peace talks, peace talks, Afghanistan War, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China
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