Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan Reiterate Respect for Afghanistan’s Independence, Territorial Integrity

Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan Reiterate Respect for Afghanistan’s Independence, Territorial Integrity

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The foreign ministers of Russia, China and Iran and Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs released a joint statement after a meeting in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on Thursday within the framework of a ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.

The meeting is proceeding in a closed format, in which the top diplomats of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also took part.

The diplomats discussed steps on facilitating Afghanistan’s political settlement, the stabilization of the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the country as well as the development of regional economic integration and the implementation of transport and energy projects with Kabul’s participation.

In accordance with the joint statement's framework, the ministers reiterated their respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and supported the principle of "Afghan leadership, Afghan ownership" for the country's political determination and development path.

They emphasized the importance of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, which should be a place for international cooperation instead of geopolitical competition.

The ministers expressed deep concern about the security situation related to terrorism in Afghanistan, and noted that all terrorist groups, including ISIS or Daesh, Al-Qaeda, ETIM, TTP, BLA, Jaish al-Adl, based in Afghanistan, pose a serious threat to regional and global security.

The ministers paid attention to the efforts of the interim government of Afghanistan to deal with ISIS-Khorasan, and asked it to take visible and verifiable measures to fight terrorism, and eliminate all kinds of terrorist groups to prevent the use of Afghan soil by any terrorist group.

The ministers stressed that the Afghan authorities should take effective measures to protect the safety, security, and legitimate rights of foreign entities and citizens. They also demanded that anyone responsible for any attack and threat of attack on foreign entities and citizens be held accountable.

The ministers called on the United States of America and its allies to take responsibility for the current difficult situation in Afghanistan, immediately remove unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan, and return its assets abroad for the benefit of the Afghan people. They also opposed these countries' re-establishment of military bases in and around Afghanistan, which would not be beneficial for regional peace and stability.

The ministers asked the Afghan authorities to create an inclusive government with practical participation of all ethnic groups and political institutions and to cancel all restrictive measures against women and ethnic minorities.

The ministers encouraged Afghanistan to maintain a friendly and cooperative foreign policy, comply with international laws, coexist in harmony with neighboring countries, and all countries of the world.

They stressed the importance of a peaceful, stable, and secure border between Afghanistan and its neighbors and asked Afghanistan to monitor and prevent illegal cross-border activities. Cross-border issues, including the water issue with neighbors, should be handled properly through dialogue and consultation.

The ministers supported all diplomatic efforts to facilitate a political solution to Afghanistan's issues and practically supported the positive role played by the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries, and the Moscow format consultations in this regard.

The ministers expressed their readiness to continue supporting peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, carrying out economic and commercial exchanges, as well as investment in cooperation with regional countries and the international community in Afghanistan.

They also asked the international community to continue providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and help this country strengthen its capacity for sustainable and self-centered development.

The ministers appreciated the reception of millions of Afghans from the countries of the region, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, and asked the international community to provide the necessary support and assistance to these countries.

The ministers also decided to strengthen coordination at different levels regarding Afghanistan.

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