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Chairman’s Statement of the “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan” Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue
2022-04-01 22:36

On 31 March 2022, the “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan” Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue was held in Tunxi, Anhui Province of China. The Dialogue was hosted by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and attended by foreign ministers or high-level representatives of Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Acting Foreign Minister of the Interim Government of Afghanistan. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar and Foreign Minister of Indonesia were also invited to attend the Dialogue as guests of honor.

1.Wang Yi first briefed on the Third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan which was just concluded. Wang noted that the Third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting built greater consensus of the neighboring countries on the Afghan issue, expressed neighboring countries’ support for peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan and unanimously urged whoever caused the Afghan issue in the first place to shoulder due responsibility. The face-to-face dialogue with the Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan focused on hearing the briefing from the Interim Government of Afghanistan on its domestic and foreign policies, while expressing concerns of the neighboring countries related to Afghanistan. It enhanced mutual understanding and forged consensus on helping Afghanistan come back on track, shore up its economy and improve people’s livelihood, in an earnest effort to maintain regional security and stability.

The neighboring countries attached importance to the governance efforts of the Afghan Interim Government over the past half year, acknowledging its commitment and actions on counter-terrorism and narcotics control. The neighboring countries called upon the international community to engage in dialogue and communication with the Interim Government of Afghanistan.

The neighboring countries reaffirmed respect for Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and support for the basic principle of “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned”. They encouraged the Interim Government to further increase the inclusiveness of its political structure, pursue moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, protect the basic rights of all Afghan people including all ethnic groups, women and children, develop friendly relations with all countries, adopt more visible measures to resolutely and thoroughly fight terrorism and earnestly fulfill its commitment on anti-narcotics. 

The neighboring countries attached importance to the economic and livelihood hardships Afghanistan faces. They stand ready to actively implement the Tunxi Initiative of the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan on Supporting Economic Reconstruction in and Practical Cooperation with Afghanistan, and scale up emergency humanitarian assistance. The neighboring countries are ready to increase practical cooperation with Afghanistan on trade and economy, energy and agriculture, help Afghanistan deepen its connectivity with regional countries, join the regional economic integration and build up capacity for self-generated development. The neighboring countries reaffirmed their preparedness for counter-terrorism and security cooperation with the Interim Government to help strengthen its counter-terrorism capacity building.

The neighboring countries commended and supported the United Nations in playing its due role in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. They called on the international community to actively and continuously provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, and expressed the hope for multilateral financial institutions to provide financing support for the country’s economic reconstruction. They urged the countries which caused the difficult situation in Afghanistan to earnestly fulfill their responsibility for the economic reconstruction and future development of Afghanistan.

2.The Afghan side highly commended the role of the mechanism of coordination and cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, and appreciated the neighboring countries’ valuable support for Afghan people on humanitarian assistance, COVID response and economic development.

The Afghan side attached great importance to the concerns of the neighboring countries, and stressed that Afghanistan would never allow external forces to once again occupy the Afghan territory, nor would it allow any forces to use the Afghan territory against other countries. Afghanistan has adjusted its governance priorities to focus on stability and development. It is ready to serve as a link for regional connectivity and pursue prosperity together with its neighboring countries. Afghanistan expressed the hope that its neighboring countries will offer the Afghan Interim Government diplomatic recognition as early as possible. Afghanistan places importance on protecting the rights and interests of women and children. Schools have been reopened. Girls’ education has never been prohibited. There is a high level of female participation in all sectors of Afghanistan, including health care and education. All ethnic groups are welcome to participate in the country’s governance, and more professionals will be invited to participate in the government’s work. The Afghan side stressed that the hasty withdrawal of the United States has caused great difficulties for Afghanistan. It urged the United States to immediately lift the freeze over Afghanistan’s overseas assets and the unreasonable sanctions against Afghanistan. It hoped that the international community would increase support and help for Afghanistan.

3.Qatar and Indonesia, as guests of honor, elaborated on their respective positions on the Afghan issue. They appreciated the positive role of the mechanism of coordination and cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in securing regional stability and development. They stressed their preparedness for closer communication and dialogue with the Interim Government of Afghanistan and the neighboring countries.

4.All parties spoke highly of this new platform established by China for dialogue between neighboring countries of Afghanistan and the Afghan Interim Government. They noted that the face-to-face dialogue has enhanced mutual understanding between the Afghan Interim Government and regional countries, especially Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, deepened the understanding of all parties on the state of affairs in Afghanistan, and helped to build up consensus. They expressed the expectation for the Afghan Interim Government to fulfill its commitments on strengthening the unity among all ethnic groups, resolutely combating terrorism and narcotics, and establishing an inclusive government and conducting inclusive governance. They expressed readiness to provide more substantive assistance to Afghanistan on top of what has been done. All parties agreed to hold future meetings of the “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan” Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.

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