China to host meeting of Afghan neighbor countries

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Beijing will host the third round of a meeting among foreign ministers of Afghan neighbors on the Afghan issue.

The meeting was discussed during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Kabul. Wang Yi met with acting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the foreign ministers of Iran, Tajikistan, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan will take part in the meeting, where they will exchange views on humanitarian aid and political challenges facing Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate said the meeting will be constructive for the engagement of the current government with foreign countries.

“It is natural that important issues of the country, including economic and diplomatic relations and other issues, will be discussed,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, is expected to attend the meeting.

“This meeting is a good opportunity for discussion, coordination and regional efforts for humanitarian, economic and social support for Afghanistan and to assess the actions regarding terrorist threats and drug trafficking,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of Russia.

The first and second round of the meeting were hosted by Islamabad and Tehran. The meeting in Islamabad was via Zoom conference.

“I don’t think that China will recognize Afghanistan in the meeting in late March, unless the Taliban reopens the girls schools,” said Torek Farhadi, an international relations analyst.

Meanwhile, following an unannounced visit to Kabul, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, issued a statement saying China hoped for the formation of an inclusive government—however he expressed China’s support for Afghanistan and highlighted the friendly relations between the two countries.

Yi visited Kabul on Thursday, where he met with the First Deputy Prime Minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and the acting Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, as well as the Ministry of Interior, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in a press release said that China is against political pressure and economic sanctions on Afghanistan:

“We oppose the political pressure and economic sanctions on Afghanistan imposed by non-regional forces at every turn,” Yi was quoted as saying in a press release. “We hope that the Afghan interim government will build an inclusive government and exercise prudent governance and continue to make positive efforts in a direction that serves the interests of the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community.”

The Islamic Emirate called the visit of the Chinese and Russian delegations important to pave the ground for the facilitation of ties with the world.

“The officials of the Islamic Emirate also call for good engagement with China and talked about the resumption of some projects,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

A delegation from the Russian Federation, led by the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, also visited Kabul in the same day. In his meeting with the Islamic Emirate’s officials, Kabulov discussed the biliteral ties and extension of Moscow’s cooperation with Afghanistan.

Kabulov also met with former president Hamid Karzai.

The political analysts said that China and Russia can play good role for Afghan peace.

“Two years ago, Russia hosted the intra-Afghan negotiations, I think in addition to other regional countries, Russia and China can play an important role in bringing an enduring peace” said Shahzada Massoud, a political analyst.

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