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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Ministerial Debate on Afghanistan

2018/01/19

The delegation of China would like to welcome Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov and thank him for convening today’s debate. We are also grateful to the Secretary-General for his briefing.

In the current context, ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan is crucial to the vital interests and long-term welfare of the Afghan people as well as to the security, development and prosperity of the region as a whole. Central Asia is generally stable and has enormous development potential. China supports the quest for solutions from a regional perspective and the adoption of a comprehensive approach, with a view to achieving lasting peace and shared development in Afghanistan and Central Asia. We appreciate the Afghan Government’s efforts to maintain national stability, facilitate national reconciliation and promote economic development, and we value the important role played in dealing with the issue of Afghanistan by its neighbours and other relevant countries of the region, including those in Central Asia. However, we have to keep in mind the fact that Afghanistan is still facing many political, security and economic challenges, and that the international community should continue to provide it with staunch support.

First, all the parties must remain committed to promoting a settlement of the Afghanistan issue through political dialogue and reconciliation. All stakeholders in Afghanistan should work to strengthen their unity and actively participate in reconciliation, making the long-term interests and welfare of the people their top priority. The international community should continue to promote efforts to achieve a broad, inclusive political reconciliation that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and encourage the relevant actors in Afghanistan to launch peace talks as soon as possible, as well as welcoming all assistance provided by countries of the region and relevant mechanisms. The international community should also fully respect the Afghan people’s right to independently choose their own political system and development path, and should support the Government in increasing its capacity to govern.

Secondly, maintaining peace and stability is the foundation of Afghanistan’s national reconstruction and development. The international community should continue to support the capacity-building of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, enhance the country’s independent self-defence capabilities and work together to effectively address the threats posed by terrorism, transnational crime and narcotics trafficking. While efforts at the regional level are essential to assisting Afghanistan in responding to such challenges, promoting the achievement of peace and stability there can also contribute to improving the security situation in Central Asia and the region as a whole. The international community should enhance its cooperation and coordination in fighting terrorist elements in the region, avoid finger-pointing and support the important role played by entities such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in regional counter-terrorism efforts.

Thirdly, integration into regional economies is ultimately the way forward for Afghanistan in the areas of peace and reconstruction. The countries of Central Asia and the wider region are close neighbours of Afghanistan and share interests with the Afghan people where regional development is concerned. Development in Afghanistan cannot be achieved without the support and assistance of those countries, while in turn prosperity for the region as a whole will not be possible without the economic development of Afghanistan. Stability and development in the region are in the common interests of Afghanistan and its neighbours. China hopes that the relevant countries will strengthen their cooperation and work together for peace and prosperity in the region. The international community should make active efforts to fulfil its pledges of assistance and support the Afghan Government’s efforts to promote economic and social development. In accordance with the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, all parties should work to build a community with a shared future for mankind, in the spirit of win-win cooperation, and promote the development and regional cooperation of Afghanistan and Central Asia through the Belt and Road Initiative and other endeavours aimed at regional cooperation on the economic and trade fronts.

As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, China has been playing a constructive role in promoting its peace and development. On 26 December last year in Beijing, our Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, convened and chaired the first China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. Its purpose is, first, to help Afghanistan and Pakistan improve and develop their relations; secondly, to support the peace, reconstruction and reconciliation process in Afghanistan; thirdly, to enhance trilateral cooperation on security and work jointly to combat terrorism; and fourthly, to promote international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and explore effective ways to achieve trilateral connectivity and economic integration. The three Foreign Ministers agreed on three major themes — mutual political trust and reconciliation, development and connectivity, and cooperation on security and counter-terrorism. The trilateral cooperation will focus on those three areas. They also reached consensus on a number of important issues in areas related to people’s livelihoods, such as health, human resources and agriculture.

China stands ready to cooperate with the international community in working tirelessly for peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

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