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Afghan, Chinese envoys confer on latest progress on trilateral meeting

AT News Report

KABUL: Afghan Foreign Deputy Minister Idress Zaman and Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Liu Jinsong held talks on Monday where Mr. Liu briefed him on the outcome of the second China-Russia-USA Consultation on Afghanistan

The trilateral meeting was held on 25th of April in Moscow as well as the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) convening in Beijing, the Chinese embassy said in a statement on Sunday.

Regarding the 2nd China-Russia-USA Consultation on Afghanistan, Ambassador Liu said that the Chinese side has made a lot of unremitting efforts in the successful holding of the consultation as well as reaching important consensus on Afghan affairs among the three parties.

During this process, China adheres to the principle of peacefulness, impartiality and constructiveness.

Respecting Afghanistan’s sovereignty and security as well as the legitimate concerns of all parties concerned, China is firm in principle, pragmatic in attitude, fair and sincere, seeks common ground while dissolving differences.  Therefore, China’s positions and efforts are recognized and trusted by all parties.

Ambassador Liu said, the consultation reached some important consensus which include: respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan as well as its right to choose its own development path, prioritizing the interests of the Afghan people in promoting a peace process; support an inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process, encouraging the Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks with a broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government as soon as possible; support the Afghan government’s efforts to combat international terrorism and extremist organizations in Afghanistan, taking note of the Afghan Taliban’s commitment to fight ISIS and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ETIM, and other international terrorist groups and to ensure the areas they control will not be used to threaten any other country; recognize the Afghan people’s strong desire for a comprehensive ceasefire, calling on all parties to agree on immediate and concrete steps to reduce violence as a first step; call for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as part of the overall peace process.

These consensuses reflect the cooperative attitude of the major powers on the Afghanistan issue and are of positive significance to advancing the relevant peace talks and building the consensus of the international community on Afghanistan. The next consultation will be held in Beijing.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Idrees Zaman welcomed the consultation and the outcomes of the consultation, and said he studied the trilateral consensus at the first time of he got it. He believed that China played an important role in reaching this positive achievement, and appreciated China’s efforts in pushing forward the Afghan peace process. Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani also expressed his positive comments on the consultation, saying that the Afghan government welcomes the major powers’ efforts in promoting Afghan’s peace and stability, and believes that relevant consultation will promote reaching strong consensus on Afghan issues among the region and the international community.

Ambassador Liu also made a detailed briefing of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) and the keynote speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping at its opening ceremony on 25th in Beijing, stressing that the forum is of large scale, high level, with clear direction and solid foundation, and got enthusiastic response, achieved fruitful results.

In his speech, President Xi highlighted how the “Belt and Road” construction achieved “the intended goals as planned”, “going deep and solid” and high quality development. The speech advocates to move forward with results-oriented implementation, just like an architect refining the blueprint.

It gives more  weight to trilateral and multilateral cooperation on the basis of the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, emphasizes the concept of open, green and clean cooperation, launched the Beijing Initiative for Clean Silk Road. The speech also emphasizes the pursuit of the goal of sustainable development, following generally-accepted international rules, standards, best practices, ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects, and pay more attention to the implementation of construction achievements in the field of people’s livelihood.

Ambassador Liu pointed out that some contents the speech deserving attention of the Afghan side, including investment and financing cooperation and third-party cooperation in the field of infrastructure, mutual recognition of rules and standards in the field of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, focusing on talents in the field of science and technology development, taking the lead in promoting the interconnection of information infrastructure, formulating green investment principles in the field of sustainable development, establishing multiple alliances and service platforms, providing a series of specific pragmatic projects in the field of humanities exchange. President Xi also said that China will increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale, will plan new pilot free trade zones and explore at a faster pace the opening of a free trade port, will more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination, will not resort to the beggar-thy-neighbor practice of RMB devaluation, will support and participate in WTO reform and work with others to develop international economic and trade rules of higher standards. These declarations and policies will have a positive impact on the economic and social development of the Afghan side, and will also provide a starting point for the next step of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and expanding strategic cooperation between China and Afghanistan.

Ambassador Liu said that, Afghanistan is the hub of the ancient Silk Road, an important partner for China to jointly build the BRI, and one of the countries that signed an jointly building of BRI agreement with China in early time.

The Chinese side commends the warm support of the Afghan side for the BRI and appreciates President Ghani and other Afghan political leader for their positive remarks.

The Chinese side shares the centenary dream of the Afghan people on the revival of the Silk Road and takes note of their sincere expectations on the BRI to facilitate Afghan peace and prosperity. Due to the important domestic political agenda in recent days, the Afghan leaders did not attend the BRI Summit this time, but the Afghan side sent a ministerial delegation to Beijing.

The local Afghan government, think tanks, and the business community all sent important representatives. They highly recommended the BRI and President Xi’s speech, which reflected the breadth and depth of China-Afghanistan strategic partnership.

Ambassador concluded by saying that the BRI is creating a comprehensive connectivity and, forming a comprehensive effect of infrastructure leadership, industrial agglomeration, economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. Afghanistan will be an important beneficiary and builder of BRI.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Idrees Zaman appreciated Ambassador Liu’s briefing and congratulated to the success of the Forum. Zaman said, the Afghan side has always been supporting the BRI and is willing to seek synergy between its development strategies and BRI. BRI is of great significance for Afghanistan’s connectivity with the region. Afghanistan hopes to become a bridge connecting Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia through BRI.

Recently many Afghan influential figures welcomed the consensus among US, China and Russia over Afghan peace. Reacting over trilateral meeting, former President Hamid Karzai said the Moscow meeting and consensus by Russia, the US and China on Afghanistan and its peace process is encouraging.

“The common interest of these powers in Afghan peace and cooperation with our neighbors is best for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Mohammad Haneef Atmar, former National Security Advisor and current presidential hopeful, said is appreciating the positive outcome of the trilateral meeting of US, Russian and Chinese senior diplomats in Moscow.

“The consensus among the three global powers on situation in Afghanistan, including major issues in the peace process, is of critical importance,” he said in a tweet message.

“In particular, I welcome the call from the trilateral meeting for an early resumption of the Doha intra-Afghan talks, as well as for a comprehensive ceasefire, an orderly withdrawal of foreign troops and for building up regional consensus in support of the Afghan peace process,” he added.

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