SCO foreign ministers hold meeting on Afghan issue

Source: Xinhua| 2021-07-14 23:55:44|Editor: huaxia

DUSHANBE, July 14 (Xinhua) -- A meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Afghanistan contact group was held here on Wednesday. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the meeting.

Due to the hasty withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO troops, Afghanistan is once again facing severe challenges, Wang said, adding that as an important member of the SCO family, the situation in Afghanistan not only concerns the fundamental interests of the Afghan people, but also directly affects the overall security and development of the region.

During his speech, Wang put forward five proposals on the Afghan issue.

The first is to prevent the United States from shirking its responsibility, Wang said, noting that as the initiator of the Afghan issue, the United States cannot simply walk away, create more problems for the Afghan government and dump the "burden" on regional countries.

All parties should urge the United States to honor its commitment and increase its input, Wang stressed, adding that in particular, all parties should be vigilant against any attempt to undermine regional security and stability through the chaos in Afghanistan.

The second is to prevent the resurgence of terrorist forces, Wang said, adding that Afghanistan should never again become a source of terrorism or a gathering place of terrorist forces.

The SCO should give full play to the function and role of regional anti-terrorism institutions, and make every effort to prevent the infiltration and proliferation of the "three forces" into the surrounding areas of Afghanistan, Wang said, adding that all parties should step up counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan and urge the Taliban to honor its commitment to break with international terrorist organizations.

Thirdly, the SCO should work together to boost the reconciliation process, Wang said.

Under the principle of "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned," the SCO should continue to urge all Afghan factions to show flexibility, seek common ground while reserving differences, and realize national reconciliation at an early date, Wang said.

Wang also called on SCO member states to use their respective advantages to make joint efforts for mediation, and urge all Afghan factions to clarify the road map and timetable for reconciliation, so as to lay a solid foundation for a broad, inclusive political structure in Afghanistan.

The fourth is to actively strengthen multilateral coordination, Wang said, calling for earnestly safeguarding Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

He also said that the SCO should support Afghanistan to become an independent, autonomous and neutral country, to pursue a moderate Muslim policy, and to continue to fight all forms of terrorism and get along well with all neighboring countries.

Fifth, the SCO should continue to contribute to peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, Wang said, adding that the SCO should make full use of existing cooperation mechanisms in economy, trade, culture and other fields to support Afghanistan in enhancing its capacity for independent development and achieving genuine and sustainable development.

The SCO should support Afghanistan's integration into regional economic development, and deepen public health cooperation and support Afghanistan's effective fight against COVID-19, he added.

China will continue to fully respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan and play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Afghan issue, Wang said, adding that China is also willing to hold intra-Afghan negotiations in China in due course.

In their speeches, other foreign ministers raised concerns about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan due to the U.S. withdrawal, and all were wary of the resurgence of international terrorist forces in the country.

All parties called for firmly advancing the political settlement process of the Afghan issue, voicing their support for restoring Afghan peace, developing economy, combating terrorism and "three forces," and establishing an inclusive political structure in Afghanistan.

They also support the SCO in playing an important role in achieving peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, and are committed to strengthening coordination and cooperation at the regional and international levels to promote lasting peace and sustainable development in Afghanistan. Enditem