Chinese FM Attends 4th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Afghanistan’s Neighboring Countries

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang attends the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting among neighboring countries of Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, April 13, 2023. The meeting was chaired by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov, and attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev, and Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Thursday attended the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting among neighboring countries of Afghanistan in the Uzbek city of Samarkand.

The meeting was chaired by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov, and attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev, and Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.

Qin said that the current situation in Afghanistan is characterized by concerns amid stability as well as turmoil, and is in a critical period of domestic and foreign policy adjustment and transformation, which calls for more attention and input from the international community, especially its neighbors.

“All parties should demonstrate the spirit of good-neighborliness, friendship and mutual assistance, push forward the implementation of the outcomes of previous foreign ministers’ meetings, and speak with one voice on supporting Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development and promoting regional security and stability,” said Qin.

Qin stressed that the long-standing Afghan issue is the result of both “old diseases that have not been cured” and “new ones,” and that Afghanistan’s neighboring countries should play a leading role in helping Afghanistan overcome difficulties and challenges and achieve stable development.

Qin put forward a four-point proposal.

The first is to crack down on the terrorist forces in Afghanistan, remove the breeding ground for terrorism at its source, and resolutely prevent Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary, breeding ground and spreading source of terrorism again.

“At the same time, we need to deepen regional cooperation on counterterrorism, drug control and refugees, strengthen border control, and jointly help Afghanistan enhance its counterterrorism capabilities to effectively curb cross-border terrorist flows and destabilization,” he noted.

Second, the United States should fulfill its responsibilities. The United States is the initiator of the Afghan problem and has yet to reflect on the serious harm it has caused to the Afghan people. The United States should immediately lift unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan and return Afghanistan’s overseas funds.

Third, he called on Afghan Taliban to build inclusive governance. On the basis of respecting the independence, sovereignty and national self-esteem of Afghanistan, the neighbors should guide the Afghan Taliban to follow the trend of the times, learn from the mature practices of other Muslim countries, and show more inclusiveness and progressiveness in the establishment and specific governance of political power.

The fourth is to carry out practical cooperation related to Afghanistan.

The neighboring parties will speed up the implementation of the Tunxi Initiative, support Afghanistan in leveraging its geographical advantage as the “heart of Asia,” integrate itself into regional connectivity and economic integration, and enhance its capacity for independent and sustainable development.

Qin said that China will continue to provide support within its capacity for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and is willing to work with neighboring countries to adhere to the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, be kind to neighbors and act as their partners, deepen friendship, mutual trust and integration of interests with neighboring countries, join hands to properly solve the Afghan issue, and be committed to the security and common development of the region.

The participating parties conducted in-depth discussions on the Afghan issue, and agreed that the meeting of neighboring foreign ministers is held at the right time. Countries in the region, which share a common destiny, should strengthen coordination and cooperation, jointly implement the Tunxi Initiative and promote regional connectivity.

They noted that it’s necessary to maintain communication with the Afghan interim government, guide it to fulfill its internal and external commitments and build an inclusive and moderate government, protect women’s rights, restore the economy, and improve people’s livelihood. They called on Afghan Taliban to pay attention to and respond to the major concerns of neighboring countries, and effectively combat terrorism and drug trafficking.

They also expressed opposition to external forces undermining the security and stability of Afghanistan and the region, the evasion of responsibility by the country which bears the primary responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan, and its closing the door to contact and dialogue with the Afghan side.

The meeting issued the Samarkand declaration of the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.

After the meeting, Qin attended the “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan” foreign ministers’ dialogue.

On the same day, Qin chaired the second informal meeting of foreign ministers of China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran on the Afghan issue, and respectively met with Lavrov, and Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government. 

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang attends the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting among neighboring countries of Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, April 13, 2023. The meeting was chaired by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov, and attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev, and Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang meets with Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government, on the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ meetings of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, April 13, 2023. 

Source : CCTV English