China on Monday welcomed the joint participation by India and Pakistan in the ongoing counter-terrorism drill of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russia.
According to the Chinese media, some 3,000 soldiers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan were participating in the "Peace Mission 2018" drill. India and Pakistan joined the bloc in 2017.
Ten representatives from Uzbekistan were serving as observers in the drill.
Beijing called India and Pakistan important countries in South Asia and said that stability in their ties was key to peace and development in the region and the world.
"We welcome India and Pakistan''s joint participation in this counter-terrorism exercise under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation framework," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
The ties between India and Pakistan were strained after the terror attack on an Indian Army camp in 2016, which New Delhi says was backed by Islamabad.
"These two countries are important ones in South Asia. Their relations'' stability is significant to the peace and development of the region and the whole world," Ms Hua said.
"We sincerely hope that they could enhance their dialogue and cooperation both bilaterally and within multilateral mechanisms like the SCO, work together to improve their ties and jointly maintain regional peace and stability," she added.
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