Foreign ministers of China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran on Thursday held the second informal meeting on the Afghan issue in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The ministers reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and their support for the determination of the country’s political future and development path in accordance with the principle of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.”
A peaceful and stable Afghanistan serves the common interests of the international community, and Afghanistan should become a platform for international cooperation rather than a site of geopolitical rivalry, the ministers emphasized.
The ministers paid close attention to the current security situation involving terrorism in Afghanistan, and stressed that the terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, including the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), al-Qaeda, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Balochistan Liberation Army and the Jaish al-Adl, continue to pose a major threat to regional and even global security.
The ministers took note of the operation carried out by the Afghan interim government against the ISKP, and urged it to take more visible and verifiable measures to fulfill its counter-terrorism commitments, disintegrate and eliminate all types of terrorist organizations and prevent the territory of Afghanistan from being used by any terrorist forces.
The ministers emphasized that the Afghan authorities should take effective measures to ensure the safety and legitimate rights and interests of foreign institutions and citizens in Afghanistan. Perpetrators of any attacks or threats against foreign institutions and personnel in Afghanistan should be held accountable.
The foreign ministers pointed out that NATO members should bear the primary responsibility for the current plight in Afghanistan. They should create opportunities for Afghanistan’s economic development and prosperity, immediately lift unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan, and return Afghanistan’s overseas assets for the benefit of the Afghan people.
The ministers emphasized that dialogue and negotiation are the only way to achieve a political solution to the Afghanistan issue. They firmly oppose any country that bears responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan to re-establish military bases in Afghanistan or the region, which will not help regional peace and stability.
The foreign ministers called on the Afghan authorities to promote inclusive governance, allowing all ethnic and political groups to participate substantively and cancel all restrictive measures against women and minorities. They encouraged Afghanistan to maintain a friendly and cooperative policy towards the outside world, comply with its obligations under international laws, and live in harmony with countries around the world and its neighbors.
The foreign ministers stressed that it is essential and in the interest of all parties to maintain a peaceful, stable and secure border between Afghanistan and its neighbors. Illegal cross-border activities should be monitored and prevented. Cross-border issues, including water resources between Afghanistan and its neighbors, should be properly dealt with through dialogue and consultation.
The foreign ministers supported all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the political settlement of the Afghan issue, and supported the international community, especially the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Afghanistan’s Neighboring Countries, and the Moscow Format of Consultations on Afghanistan, to play a positive role.
The foreign ministers expressed their commitment to supporting the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, strengthening economic, trade and investment cooperation with regional countries and the international community, and called on the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to help Afghanistan enhance its capacity for independent and sustainable development.
The foreign ministers praised Pakistan and Iran for accepting millions of Afghan refugees and called on the international community to provide necessary support and assistance to the above-mentioned countries.
The foreign ministers agreed to strengthen collaboration at all levels on the Afghan issue.