Chinese FM attends first meeting of FMs from Afghanistan's neighbors

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the first meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 8, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday attended the first meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries in Beijing via video link.

Noting that Afghanistan is now standing at the crossroads of history, Wang said that the country is still facing severe challenges, such as humanitarian issues, people's livelihoods and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some international forces may also use political, economic and financial means to create new troubles for Afghanistan.

The neighboring countries, more than anyone else, want to help Afghanistan get out of chaos, he said. They should exert a positive influence on the situation development on the basis of respecting the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

Wang stressed that the United States and its allies should learn profound lessons and assume their due responsibilities on the Afghan issue.

"The common view of the international community is that the end of military intervention by the United States and its allies should be the beginning of them assuming their responsibilities," Wang said.

"They are more obligated than any other country to provide economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, and help Afghanistan maintain stability, prevent chaos and move toward sound development on the premise of respecting the sovereignty and independence of Afghanistan."

He said the neighbors should guide and urge the Afghan Taliban to unite with all ethnic groups and factions, build a broad and inclusive political structure, pursue moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, draw a clear line with terrorist forces, and establish and develop friendly relations with other countries, especially neighboring countries.

The Taliban has recently made positive statements on issues such as forming a government, fighting terrorism and making friends with its neighbors. "We welcome the statements and the key is to transform them into concrete action," he said, adding the two most important points are broad inclusiveness and resolute crackdown on terrorism.

Afghanistan's neighbors should play a unique role in providing a good external environment for Afghanistan's stability and reconstruction and meanwhile addressing their own legitimate concerns, Wang said.

He proposed six aspects for coordination and cooperation at the current stage, including helping Afghanistan strengthen epidemic prevention and control, keeping port gates open, strengthening management of refugees and emigrants, providing humanitarian assistance as soon as possible, deepening anti-terrorism cooperation and carrying out anti-drug cooperation.

Wang announced that China has decided to urgently provide 200 million yuan (30.96 million U.S. dollars) worth of grain, winter supplies, vaccines and medicines to Afghanistan, according to the needs of the Afghan people.

He said that China has decided to donate 3 million vaccine doses to the Afghan people in the first batch. China is also ready to provide more anti-epidemic and emergency materials to Afghanistan under the China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve.

Participants positively evaluated a series of consensuses reached at the meeting and agreed to institutionalize the meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries.

The first meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries was chaired by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Also attending the meeting were Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Vepa Khadzhiev.

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