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    Afghanistan, Neighbouring Countries Foreign Ministers to meet in China end-March

    CountriesAfghanistanAfghanistan, Neighbouring Countries Foreign Ministers to meet in China...
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    Afghanistan, Neighbouring Countries Foreign Ministers to meet in China end-March

    The meeting will help build consensus among the neighbours on the issue of Afghanistan and discuss how to promote stability in the country and support its people.

    The third meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries will be held in Tunxi, Central China’s Anhui Province on March 30-31, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson announced on Monday.

    Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will chair the meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan or their representatives, Wang Wenbin said during his regular briefing held here.

    Responding to a question about expectation for the third meeting under the current circumstances, he said, the meeting will help build consensus among the neighbours on the issue of Afghanistan, discuss how to promote stability in the country and support its people.

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    “As the situation is in a critical transition from chaos to order, the Afghan people still face multiple challenges from within and outside and need more support. By hosting the third meeting, China looks forward to putting consensus among neighbouring countries, discussing ways to achieve stability and support the Afghan people and also share our voice with the rest of the international community,” he added.

    The spokesperson informed that on the sidelines of the meeting, the Chinese foreign minister will also host a dialogue between the foreign ministers and the acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Afghan interim government, with the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Qatar invited to participate.

    Fighting terrorism

    The dialogue is expected to promote the Afghan side to build an open and inclusive political structure, pursue a moderate and stable domestic and foreign policy, and effectively fight terrorism, he added.

    “At the same time, we also expect the international community to provide greater support to Afghanistan and call on the United States to effectively assume the primary responsibility for economic reconstruction in Afghanistan,” he said.

    Following his visit to India, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi paid a visit to Afghanistan on 24 March, the first visit by the Chinese foreign minister since the change of government in Afghanistan in August 2021.

    Pakistan chaired the first meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries on September 8, 2021, one day after the Afghan Taliban announced the formation of an interim government in Kabul.

    The second meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries bordering Afghanistan took place in Tehran, the capital of Iran, on 27 October 2021.

    Humanitarian, economic crises

    In a related development, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that Afghanistan must not be seen through a regional prism, but as a “shared and collective responsibility”.

    “Instability in Afghanistan will have negative consequences for the entire world,” he said.

    Referring to ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the foreign minister said the emergence of new conflicts did not mean that the world can afford to forget old ones. He opined that the wounds of 40 years of war and bloodshed in Afghanistan would take a long time to heal.

    “Failure is not an option. If the world community fails Afghanistan yet again, it will result in a fresh influx of refugees, enhanced space for terrorism, and a rise in drug trafficking,” he said.

    Foreign Minister Qureshi said that since 15 August, the interim Afghan government remained embattled with the humanitarian and economic crises, as well as a liquidity crunch, exacerbated by the lack of a functional banking system.

    He mentioned at the same time the positive aspects mainly internal stability, no civil war, the opening of girls’ schools, and the interim government’s commitment to addressing terrorism.

    He said Afghanistan currently stood at a critical crossroads as for the first time in over 40 years, there was a single unified dispensation over its entire territory.

    The foreign minister said over four decades of war and bloodshed were over and there had been a demonstrable decrease in corruption, leading to an increase in revenue.

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