|State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on the Phone|
On 19 August, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar.
Wang noted that Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process, which has come to a critical juncture, is vital to the country’s future. As a most trustworthy neighbor, China hopes to see peace, stability, reconstruction and development in Afghanistan more than any other country. The intra-Afghan negotiations hold the key to the realization of peace and reconciliation. At this historic moment, all sides in Afghanistan need to work in the same direction and handle their differences properly for the long-term interests of the country. The negotiation process should be advanced on the basis of maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan. Reoccurrence of internal turmoil or conflict should not be tolerated. Terrorist forces should be denied the opportunity to stage a comeback by exploiting the situation and jeopardize regional security.
Wang said that the peace and reconciliation process should be Afghan-led to ensure the Afghan people’s right to independently determine their country’s future. It should prioritize peace and keep to the fundamental direction of political settlement. It should be broadly representative and inclusive to ensure stability and unity in the future Afghanistan and uphold a foreign policy of peace and friendship. The ETIM is a common enemy of China and Afghanistan. Both sides will unflinchingly fight terrorism to safeguard security of the two countries and the wider region. China will continue to play an active mediation role for the intra-Afghan negotiations.
Wang underscored the traditional friendship and the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. China is ready to carry forward friendship and advance cooperation with Afghanistan, including cooperation against COVID-19 as a first-order priority. China and Afghanistan have set up a joint response mechanism and reached many common understandings. China will continue to support Afghanistan in beating the virus.
Wang also expressed China’s readiness to strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan under the Belt and Road framework and fully utilize sub-regional cooperation platforms such as the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation, and the China-Central Asian Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Such efforts will help harness Afghanistan’s unique geographical advantage to enhance connectivity, and promote economic and social development and improve people’s wellbeing in Afghanistan.
Atmar expressed gratitude for China’s long-standing and firm support to the peace and reconciliation process and fully concurred with the views and proposals by State Councilor Wang Yi. The future of Afghanistan should be decided by its own people. External forces must respect the country’s sovereignty and refrain from interfering in its affairs.
The ETIM is a common enemy of Afghanistan and China. The Afghan side is ready to deepen counter-terrorism cooperation with China and clamp down on terrorism. Afghanistan wants to strengthen cooperation with China on economy, trade and investment, and advance connectivity with China, Pakistan and Central Asian countries in such areas as energy, railway and electricity under the Belt and Road framework.