Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia express support for intra-Afghan dialogue

Posted In: News Date:May 20th, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Four regional countries, including Pakistan, on Tuesday urged all stakeholders in Afghanistan to declare a comprehensive ceasefire, as they welcomed the power-sharing agreement between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah.

Special representatives of Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia held a virtual conference to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan against the backdrop of recent power-sharing deal in Afghanistan, ending the months-long deadlock between Ghani and Abdullah and also the recent spike in violence in the war-torn country.

A joint statement issued simultaneously by the four countries voiced serious concerns over the terrorism threat existing in Afghanistan.

The statement said the quartet supported UN Secretary General António Guterres’ initiative for a universal ceasefire and called for a simultaneous declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan as agreed among parties to the conflict.

Concerned with the serious terrorism threat existing in Afghanistan, they urged all sides in Afghanistan to take decisive action against al Qaeda, ISIL, ETIM, TTP and other international terrorist organisations operating against regional countries, and to completely eradicate the production and trafficking of narcotics in the country.

“Pay close attention to the follow-up developments resulting in exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan, call on foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible way so that the situation in Afghanistan will experience a steady transition,” the joint statement read.

The joint statement reiterated their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and the decision of its people on their future and development path.

They welcomed the agreement between two main political leaders and hoped that this important event will expedite the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

They also supported the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process, and said that the inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations are the only way to realise the Afghan national reconciliation, leading to prompt end of the prolonged conflict.