China sheds light on Afghan reconciliation

By Monitoring Desk
Wednesday – May 20, 2020
BEIJING (China): Chinese foreign office (FO) spokesperson Zhao Lijian, addressing a regular press conference, Tuesday, mentioned that on Monday the special envoys for Afghanistan from China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan held a video conference and had an in-depth exchange of views on the current situation in Afghanistan and the peace and reconciliation process.

According to an official Chinese statement, the meeting was hosted by the Russian side.

The four parties issued a joint statement afterwards.

The joint statement welcomes the signing of the political agreement by the two major Afghan political leaders and calls on all parties in Afghanistan to seize the opportunity to launch intra-Afghan talks and realise comprehensive and sustainable peace at an early date.

It calls on foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible manner to ensure a smooth transition.

It expresses hope that relevant united nations (UN) security council resolutions will be observed and implemented, and urges all parties in Afghanistan to resolutely combat international terrorist organisations.

It reaffirms support for Afghanistan in the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus).

At present, the situation in Afghanistan is at a critical stage.

As Afghanistan’s traditional friendly neighbour, China respects the Afghan people’s independent decision on their own future and development path, and will do its best to support Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction.

China firmly supports the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process and hopes that intra-Afghan talks will start and yield positive results at an early date.

China will continue strengthening communication and coordination with relevant parties in Afghanistan and making constructive efforts with the international community for the political settlement of the Afghan issue.

The special envoy on Afghan affairs of the Chinese FO Liu Jian, Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, Iranian FO special envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian, and Pakistani FO additional secretary Safdar Hayat participated in the high level meeting.

Meanwhile, according to an official Russian statement, on Monday, the delegates of a quadripartite virtual meeting had an in-depth discussion of the internal political developments in Afghanistan with a focus on the importance of implementing the agreement between the United States (US) and the Taliban as soon as possible and launching direct talks between internal forces in Afghanistan.

They also expressed hope that the agreement which the two political figures of Afghanistan reached earlier will help overcome the political crisis in the country and remove all obstacles to launch direct peace talks in Afghanistan.

They adopted a joint statement following the video consultations.

In the quadripartite video consultations, the Russian presidential representative for Afghanistan Kabulov, China’s special envoy for Afghanistan Jian, deputy foreign minister of Pakistan Hayat and Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan Taherianfard participated.

Separately, according to an official Pakistani statement, the joint statement, on Monday, by the special representatives on Afghanistan affairs of Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran agreed on the following:

Reiterate their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and the decision of its people on their future and development path;

Welcome the agreement between two main political leaders and hope that this important event will expedite start of intra-Afghan negotiations;

Support the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process, believe that the inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations are the only way to realise the Afghan national reconciliation, leading to prompt end of the prolonged conflict;

Call on all Afghan ethnic groups and parties, including Taliban to act upon the opportunities preparing the situation to launch the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible;

Support Afghanistan to achieve comprehensive and sustainable peace at an early date;

Pay close attention to the follow-up developments resulting in exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan, call on foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible way so that the situation in Afghanistan will experience a steady transition;

Support release of prisoners and detainees held by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan;

Hope the resolution 2513(2020) of the UN security council can be observed and implemented;

Support the initiative of the UN secretary general António Guterres for universal ceasefire and call for a simultaneous declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan as agreed among parties to the conflict;

Concerned with the serious terrorism threat existing in Afghanistan, urge all sides in Afghanistan to take decisive action against Al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other international terrorist organisations operating against regional countries, and to completely eradicate the production and trafficking of narcotics in the country;

Reaffirm their support to Afghanistan to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, welcome the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan;

Underscore that repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees should be part of any peace and reconciliation process, call upon the international community to support time bound return of Afghan refugees with dignity and honour;

Agree to maintain the contact on the Afghanistan issue, and work together to advance the Afghan peace reconciliation and reconstruction process.

The above statement was issued on Monday in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Islamabad in Russian, Chinese, Persian and English languages respectively.