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China to host meeting of Afghanistan's neighbors, hopes for ‘inclusive’ government

The upcoming meeting in Beijing will be the third such meeting of foreign ministers of regional countries where members are expected to discuss a coherent regional response to address the issue of Afghanistan

Mar 26, 2022
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (File)

China hopes for the formation of an “inclusive government in Afghanistan”, Beijing said in a statement a day after Foreign Minister Wang Yi made an unannounced trip to Kabul, and added it expects the interim Afghan government, the Taliban, to make “positive efforts” in the interest of Afghan people and the “expectation of the international community.”

The statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry also said Beijing will soon host a meeting of regional countries, where foreign ministers of Iran, Tajikistan, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan will take part to discuss humanitarian and political challenges facing the country. 

“We oppose the political pressure and economic sanctions on Afghanistan imposed by non-regional forces at every turn,” Wang was quoted as saying in the statement, reiterating his country’s approach of non-interference in domestic matters of other countries.  

His visit came as the most significant foreign visit to Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of power last August. Having failed to act on most demands of the international community—chief among them the formation of an inclusive government and granting basic human rights—the Taliban regime remains isolated globally, while the humanitarian crisis kept worsening. 

Wang’s trip came a day after the Taliban re-imposed a ban on senior girls’ education. Later, a US delegation canceled its scheduled meeting with the group’s leaders in Doha, Qatar, in response to the group’s ban. 

The upcoming meeting in Beijing will be the third such meeting of foreign ministers of regional countries where members are expected to discuss a coherent regional response to address the issue of Afghanistan. 

The harsh sanctions, imposed by the West in response to the Taliban takeover last year, are being opposed by Russia and China along with regional countries, which they claim, are further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis—a view the UN also shares, though partially. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has called for easing sanctions and finding a mechanism to revive the country’s banking system, which has all but collapsed in the last seven months.

Sanctions, persistent drought, the end of foreign development assistance, and the intense fighting in the months leading to the regime change last year, have caused the collapse of the country’s economy, creating huge job losses and crippling crucial health and service sectors.  

(SAM)

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