Fifth Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad

Chinese, Afghan foreign ministers arrive in Pakistan; Pakistan to raise TTP issue with Afghan delegation

Fifth Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan will start on Saturday in Islamabad.

Foreign ministers from China and Afghanistan, Qin Gang and Amir Khan Muttaqi, arrived in Pakistan on Friday to take part in trilateral talks on fifth China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue on May 6.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister for Afghanistan, arrived in Islamabad on a four-day visit to discuss trade, economic, and security-related matters.

FM Muttaqi will head a “comprehensive political and trade delegation,” Hafiz Zia Takkal, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry, stated in a tweet.

“The Afghan administration wants to undertake extensive bilateral discussions on transit, regional security, and political and economic ties”, he continued.

A day earlier, the Foreign Office (FO) had announced that Muttaqi will head a high-level delegation that comprises the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Transport, and Trade’s senior officials as well as the Acting Minister for Commerce and Industry, Haji Nooruddin Azizi.

The acting Afghan foreign minister will attend bilateral talks as well as take part in the fifth China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue on May 6.

Qin Gang, the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, arrived in Islamabad earlier today and will take part in the trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting.

State-run Radio Pakistan tweeted about the arrival of Chinese foreign minister, who is visiting Pakistan for the first time after assuming office.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tweeted today to clarify that tomorrow’s (Saturday) bilateral and trilateral discussions would be place with his Afghan Chinese colleagues.

Speaking earlier today at the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers in India, Bilawal stated that the situation in Afghanistan brought both fresh chances and difficulties.

While the Afghan foreign ministry has outlined a number of topics for discussion with Pakistan during the upcoming negotiations, there may be other problems Pakistan wishes to bring up.

One of these concerns is Pakistan’s demand for Kabul to act against the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which Afghan authorities claim operates there, according to Pakistani officials. The Afghan Taliban administration, however, disputes these claims.