KABUL: The People’s Republic of China has reiterated its support to the ongoing peace push in Afghanistan, saying the country hoped the negotiating sides would prioritize the interests of the Afghan people, as well as the nation.
Speaking to media about intra-Afghan talks, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday called on the international community to stage a responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan in order to secure gradual transit.
Renewing the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, he said “We are calling on the international community and regional countries to respect the principle of fairness and jointly support the restoration of peace in Afghanistan, [to ensure] responsible and well-ordered withdrawal of foreign troops to secure the gradual transit.”
The minister stressed that the quick end of the military chaos in Afghanistan was not just a hope of the Afghan people but an important interest of the region and the whole international community.
“Being a sincere friend of Afghanistan, China wholeheartedly hopes that all parties to the Afghan talks will set the national interests as a priority and will manage to find an effective solution of the Afghan problem as soon as possible,” Wang added.
This comes as, on February 29, the Taliban and the US reached a landmark agreement in the Qatari capital of Doha. The key provisions of the deal were that the Taliban and the Afghan government release each other’s prisoners — 1,000 and 5,000, respectively — and that the insurgent group reduces violence, as prerequisites for launching intra-Afghan talks. Meanwhile, based on the dead, the US has promised a phased, yet full, US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 2021 – a move dependent on certain criteria being met by the Taliban, including severing ties with Al-Qaeda.
The intra-Afghan negotiations, which began on Saturday in Doha, are now expected to pave the way for sustainable peace in the country and withdrawal of foreign troops after almost two decades of war and insurgency.