Sartaj Aziz meets Chinese FM; discusses bilateral relations, regional developments

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Sartaj Aziz meets Chinese FM; discusses bilateral relations, regional developments

ISLAMABAD, Jul 25 (APP): Pakistan and China on Monday
emphasized the importance of reconciliation between the Afghan Government and Taliban as an essential element for peace and stability of Afghanistan.

In this context, the Chinese Foreign Minister
appreciated the sincere counterterrorism efforts by Pakistan,
noting that Pakistan’s role against terrorism and for regional
stability should be recognized.

These views were expressed in a meeting between Adviser
to PM on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz and Chinese Foreign
Minister, Mr. Wang Yi, held on the sidelines of the 23rd ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Vientiane, Laos People’s Democratic Republic, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here said.

In the bilateral context, both the Ministers expressed
satisfaction at the rapid growth in bilateral trade, which
reached US $18 billion last year, making China the largest
trading partner of Pakistan.

Mr. Wang Yi stated that while negotiating the second
phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, efforts would be made to increase exports from Pakistan to rectify the trade imbalance.

Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan was fully committed to
the timely and effective implementation of all projects under
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Mr. Wang Yi termed CPEC as flagship project under the
One Belt One Road initiative. In this context, it would be
possible for Western China to start using Gwadar Port very
soon for its regional and international trade.

He acknowledged steps taken by Pakistani government for
protection of Chinese experts and workers, particularly the
Special Security Division raised for the purpose.

The two Ministers also agreed to renew and broaden the
scope of the Bilateral Cultural Agreement, which had expired
in December 2015.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral
forums, including Pakistan’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Both Sartaj Aziz and Wang Yi were leading respective
delegations for the two day meeting of the ARF in Ventiane,
Lao PDR.