Third meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbors releases joint statement
The Third Foreign Ministers' Meeting Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan was held in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province on Thursday. Foreign Ministers or senior representatives of seven countries, namely China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, attended the meeting.
In a candid and pragmatic atmosphere of mutual understanding, the parties had comprehensive, in-depth and constructive discussions on the situation in Afghanistan and on cooperation regarding Afghanistan and declared the following:
I. Political and diplomatic fields
Reaffirmed respect for the 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."
Urged the countries mainly responsible for the current predicament in Afghanistan to earnestly fulfill commitments regarding the economic recovery and future development of Afghanistan.
Stressed that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan serves the common interests of regional countries and Afghanistan and expressed readiness to jointly play a constructive role to this end.
Noted the importance of achieving national reconciliation in Afghanistan through dialogue and negotiation, establishing a broad-based and inclusive political structure, adopting moderate and sound domestic and foreign policies, growing friendly relations with all countries, especially its neighbors, and emphasizing the necessity for all sides to strengthen dialogue and communication with Afghanistan for the above purposes.
Noted the importance of taking necessary continuing steps in Afghanistan to ensure women's rights and children's education, among others, and called for further action to be taken to improve people's livelihood and safeguard all Afghans' fundamental rights, including ethnic groups, women and children.
Reaffirmed opposition to attempts at politicizing humanitarian assistance and reiterated respect and support for the central role of Afghanistan in distributing and using humanitarian assistance to be rendered by international community and international organizations to the people of Afghanistan.
II. Economic and humanitarian fields
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.
Expressed appreciation of and support for the key role of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and called on the international community, in particular UN agencies and relevant members of the UN Security Council, to step up emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Followed with concern the spread of COVID-19 and shortages of medicine and medical equipment in Afghanistan and expressed readiness to help Afghanistan enhance its capacity in health care and COVID-19 containment.
Expressed support for Afghanistan's efforts toward self-generated development and undertook to support the economic recovery of Afghanistan at both bilateral and multilateral levels, open up ports further, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Afghanistan in such fields as trade and economy, energy, agriculture, finance, connectivity and infrastructure, to help Afghanistan build capacity for self-generated development.
Reaffirmed commitment to deepen cooperation within such frameworks as the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as regional cooperation organizations, and include Afghanistan in the regional connectivity, energy and transport networks and economic and trade systems to help Afghanistan unleash its geographical advantages and economic potential.
III. Counterterrorism and security
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.
Stressed terrorism as a key factor affecting stability in Afghanistan, condemned all forms of violence and terrorist attacks and reiterated that ISIS, Al-Qaeda, ETIM, TTP, BLA, Jondollah, Jaish-Al-Adl, Jamaat Ansarullah, IMU and other terrorist organizations must not be given any place on the Afghan territory.
Called on relevant Afghan parties to take more visible steps to make a clean break with all forms of terrorist forces, monitor the free movement of all terrorist organizations and firmly fight and eliminate them, including through dismantling of their training camps, to ensure that Afghanistan would never again serve as a breeding ground, safe haven or source of proliferation for terrorism.
Urged relevant Afghan parties to safeguard the security and legitimate rights and interests of foreign citizens and institutions in Afghanistan.
Reaffirmed readiness to strengthen counterterrorism and security cooperation among neighboring countries, build a united front against terrorism. Noted the initiative of the Republic of Tajikistan on the "security belt" around Afghanistan. Tighten border control, prevent terrorist forces from fleeing across borders, and stay committed to safeguarding security and stability in the region. Expressed readiness to conduct counterterrorism and security cooperation with Afghanistan to help it build counterterrorism capacity.
Encouraged relevant Afghan parties to take concrete action against the cultivation, production and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and crack down on organized crime to free Afghanistan from the scourge of drugs.
Reaffirmed readiness to scale up joint efforts to combat cross-border drug-related crime and protect people's health and social stability.
Expressed concern over the situation of Afghan refugees and internally displaced people and support for UN agencies in playing an active role in this regard.
Expressed appreciation of the efforts made by the regional countries, in particular Pakistan and Iran, on the issue of Afghan refugees and called on the international community to provide those countries with continuous, sufficient and proportionate financial support for the timely return of Afghan refugees with dignity and honor.
V. Institution building
Announced the launch of a mechanism for regular consultations among special envoys (special representatives) for Afghanistan of the neighboring countries and three working groups, namely political and diplomatic, economic and humanitarian, security and stability, to follow up on the outcomes of the foreign ministers' meetings among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.
Expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Chinese side for hosting the 3rd Foreign Ministers' Meeting at the high organizational level, supported Uzbekistan to convene the 4th Foreign Ministers' Meeting in the first quarter of 2023 in Tashkent.
(Cover: Foreign ministers or senior representatives of (L to R) Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan pose for a photo at the Third Foreign Ministers' Meeting Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province, March 31, 2022. /Chinese Foreign Ministry)