China, Pakistan discuss ‘new changes’ in Afghanistan situation

- Reuters, BEIJING

Dec 27, 2018-

Senior Chinese and Pakistani diplomats have discussed “new changes” to the situation in Afghanistan, China’s foreign ministry said, amid plans by the United States to withdraw about half of the 14,000 US troops based in the country.

US officials have told Reuters that President Donald Trump has issued verbal orders to plan for a drawdown of close to 7,000 US troops. The White House and the Pentagon have not yet commented publicly.

China, a close ally of Pakistan, has been deepening its economic and political ties with Kabul and is using its influence to try to bring the two uneasy neighbours closer.

Meeting in Beijing, the Chinese government’s top diplomat State Councillor Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a “deep discussion about new changes to the situation in Afghanistan and reached a broad consensus”, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“Both sides believe that military means cannot resolve the Afghanistan issue, and promoting political reconciliation is the only realistic way,” the ministry said in its short statement.

Published: 27-12-2018 10:35

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