September 24, 2023

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Iran, China, Russia, and Pakistan say Afghanistan should not be used for geopolitical rivalry

TEHRAN – On Thursday, the foreign ministers of Iran, China, Russia and Pakistan held a quadrilateral informal meeting on Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan to discuss the situation in the war-torn country.

Among the four countries meeting in Samarkand, Iran, Pakistan and China share border with Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban in August 2021.

The chief diplomats released a joint statement in which they called on Taliban authorities to form an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups and political institutions.

Meanwhile, the statement also asked the de facto authorities to lift all restriction measures against women and ethnic minorities in the country.

The statement also emphasized that a peaceful Afghanistan is in the international community’s interest and that the country should be a place for international cooperation rather than geopolitical rivalry.

The statement also blamed the U.S. and its allies for the current state of affairs in the country and asked for the immediate lifting of unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan and releasing its assets to benefit the people. 

The four foreign ministers also stressed the importance of respecting Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

They also expressed their support for the principle of “Afghan ownership and Afghan leadership” to determine the political and development path of the country, according to Press TV.

The four countries also expressed concern about the security situation and the growing terrorism in Afghanistan. They reiterated that terrorist groups based in Afghanistan severely threaten regional and global peace. 

Meanwhile, the four countries asked the de facto government in Kabul to “take tangible action in fighting against terrorism and eliminating terrorist groups in the country.”

All terrorist groups based in the country, including Daesh, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Jaish ul-Adl pose a serious threat to regional and international security, the ministers warned.

The first quadrilateral meeting on Afghanistan was held on September 16, 2022 on the sidelines the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

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