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International relations

China pledges to help Afghanistan and Pakistan bridge divisions

Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, center, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, right, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands after a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in fighting terrorism, signed in Kabul, Afghanistan Dec.15.   © Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) -- China pledged to help Afghanistan and Pakistan overcome long-standing suspicions, as officials from the three nations met on Saturday in the latest round of diplomacy aimed at opening talks with the Taliban to end the Afghan war.

China, a close ally of Pakistan, has lately deepened its economic and political ties with Kabul and is using its influence to try to bring the two uneasy South Asian neighbors closer, at a time when the United States has sought Pakistan's help with faltering Afghan peace talks.

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