Chinese, Russian FMs Discuss Afghanistan Issue

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov agreed Wednesday that the future government of Afghanistan should enjoy broad support and represent the interests of all ethnic groups of the country.

The two met here during ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

They exchanged views on the political solution to the Afghanistan issue, saying that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan should be guaranteed, and that the future government of Afghanistan should have a broad basis and extensive support and should be able to represent the interests of all Afghan ethnic groups.

On international efforts to fight against terrorism, Tang reiterated China's principled stand that the Chinese government is firmly opposed to any form of terrorism. China and Russia have a common stand on and shared interests in combating terrorism, and enhanced anti-terrorism cooperation between the two sides will be conducive to maintaining regional and international security and stability, he said.

Ivanov said that enhanced anti-terrorism cooperation between his country and China is of great significance, and that Russia is willing to further strengthen coordination and consultation with China in this regard.

The two ministers emphasized the need to bring into full play the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a newly founded organization that involves China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The SCO is an important means of strategic cooperation between China and Russia in responding to current international circumstances, said Tang. He called for speeding up the formulation of a charter for the SCO, and voiced full support for Russia's proposal to hold a national coordinators' meeting in early December concerning the charter and other issues.

His ideas were echoed by Ivanov, who said Russia and China should enhance bilateral cooperation within the framework of SCO.

(People's Daily 10/17/2001)

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