The 3rd meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries issues a joint statement
Chaired by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi the third foreign ministers' meeting among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan took place in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province on March 31..
According to Xinhua, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Tajik Minister of Justice Muzaffar Ashouriyon, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov and attended the meeting.
Inaugurating the meeting, Wang reportedly said that with Afghanistan standing at the crossroads of history, relevant countries launched the coordination and cooperation mechanism among neighbors of Afghanistan and built a political consensus of cooperating to respond to the changes in the Afghan situation. These moves fully embodied the spirit of good-neighborly friendship and mutual assistance.
He urged upholding the concept of a community with a shared future, further leveraging the unique role of the coordination and cooperation mechanism among neighbors of Afghanistan, promoting the early realization of stable development in Afghanistan, and working together to achieve lasting regional security and prosperity.
Wang proposed support for Afghanistan to embark on a road of self-reliance and self-improvement, a road of prosperity and progress, and a road of peaceful development.
The parties had comprehensive, in-depth and constructive discussions on the situation in Afghanistan and on cooperation regarding Afghanistan, and declared the following:
The meeting participants reportedly agreed to step up coordination and cooperation to help Afghanistan realize peace, stability, and economic reconstruction, and support and guide the Afghan interim government to faithfully fulfill its commitments and respond positively to the expectations of the international community, especially its neighbors.
They also stressed that the United States and NATO should take the primary responsibility for Afghanistan's reconstruction and development, and return the assets of the Afghan people as soon as possible.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a video speech, in which he spoke highly of the generous support of China and other neighboring countries to the Afghan people. He pointed out that the solidarity of the Afghan neighbors demonstrates the spirit of a global community, and suggested strengthening humanitarian assistance, economic revitalization, and constructive engagement and cooperation, according to Xinhua.
The meeting issued a joint statement of the third foreign ministers' meeting among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan and the Tunxi Initiative of neighboring countries of Afghanistan on supporting Afghanistan's economic reconstruction and practical cooperation.
The parties, in particular, reaffirmed respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, support for the Afghan people in independently deciding the future of their country, and support for the basic principle of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”.
They urged the countries mainly responsible for the current predicament in Afghanistan to earnestly fulfill commitments on the economic recovery and future development of Afghanistan.
The parties noted the importance of taking necessary continuing steps in Afghanistan on ensuring women’s rights and children’s education, among others, and called for further actions to be taken to improve people’s livelihood, safeguard the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including ethnic groups, women and children.
They expressed deep concern over the humanitarian situation, economic and livelihood plight in Afghanistan and announced readiness to provide further humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
They noted commitments and pledges made by Afghanistan to the international community that the territory of Afghanistan will not pose any threats to the neighboring countries and no place will be given to terrorist groups on the Afghan territory.
The parties expressed concern over the situation of the Afghan refugee as well as internally displaced people and support for UN agencies in playing an active role in this regard.
They decided to launch a mechanism for regular meetings of special envoys of neighboring countries of Afghanistan on the Afghan issue and establish three working groups on political diplomacy, economy and humanitarian affairs, and security and stability.
Uzbekistan will host the fourth foreign ministers' meeting among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.
Special envoys for Afghanistan from China, the United States and Russia, a group known as the “Extended Troika”, reportedly also met concurrently in Tunxi.