KABUL (Anadolu/TASS) –
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to discuss a variety of issues ranging from regional security to economic cooperation, Anadolu Agency reported.
This was the first meeting of the two leaders since Khan’s visit to China in October 2019, said a statement from the Pakistani premier’s office.
Khan travelled to China on Thursday to attend the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Both leaders, the statement said, acknowledged that a “peaceful and stable” Afghanistan would promote economic development and connectivity in the region, urging the international community to promptly assist the Afghan people and avert a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the war-torn country.
“The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of Pakistan-China bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, in a warm and cordial atmosphere,” it further said.
“The All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China has withstood the tests of times and the two nations firmly stood side by side in realizing their visions and shared aspirations of peace, stability, development and prosperity,” the statement added.
A combination of a suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets worth billions of dollars by the U.S., and international sanctions on the Taliban have plunged the country, already suffering from high poverty levels, into a full-blown economic crisis.
Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August, unemployment levels have also increased throughout the country, leaving parents unable to provide food for their families. The direct result has been a surge in malnutrition, producing a dramatic rise in pneumonia in children.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel on Monday that Washington and London have cooked up the threat of Russia ‘invading Ukraine’ for the sake of a “heroic fight” in order to carry out a provocation and then declare victory, which is a way to distract their public from their own domestic crises and restore the “undefeatable” image following the Afghan flop.
“Here you’ve got both an opportunity to divert attention away from their own political crises and a chance to pour billions into arming ‘immature democracies’, and a way of reviving the image of the ‘invincible’ after the Afghan fiasco,” she added.