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Pakistan hosts China, Afghanistan for talks on trade, peace

In this photo released by the Press Information Department, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, center, hand shakes jointly with Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani, right, and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Sept, 07, 2019. Pakistan is hosting the third round of trilateral talks with Afghanistan and China to cover trade, counterterrorism and ending Afghanistan's 18-year war. (Press Information Department via AP)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan hosted a third round of trilateral talks with China and Afghanistan on Saturday covering trade, counterterrorism and an end to Afghanistan's 18-year war.

Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, said the people of Afghanistan should determine their country's future and that Beijing would contribute to Afghanistan's reconciliation and reconstruction.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said this year's trilateral talks took place at a key moment in the U.S.-led effort to negotiate peace in neighboring Afghanistan. He said both regional and Pakistani security will rely on ending the fighting there.

Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement that the foreign ministers also discussed cooperation in economic development.

China is developing a trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to build ports, highways, power plants and other infrastructure across an arc of countries linking it to Europe, Africa and Asia. The initiative also aims to boost demand in developing countries.

The forum was established in two years ago, and earlier meetings were held in Beijing and Kabul in 2017 and 2018.