Int'l conference conducive to building consensus on Afghanistan: Chinese envoy

Updated: 2014-10-31 02:25

By Bian Jibu in New York(China Daily USA)

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Int'l conference conducive to building consensus on Afghanistan: Chinese envoy

Liu Jieyi, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations briefed reporters at the UN.

Liu Jieyi, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations briefed reporters at the UN on the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan held in Beijing on Thursday.

Liu said that as the first large-scale international conference on Afghanistan China has ever hosted, and the first international conference on Afghanistan since the formation of the new Afghan government, the conference would have an importance that can never be overemphasized.

The ambassador told the reporters that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would attend and address the opening ceremony, that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani would co-chair the conference and meet with the press, and that Foreign ministers and high-level representatives of the member states and supporting parties of the Istanbul Process would attend the conference. According to Ambassador Liu, the theme of the Conference is "Deepening Cooperation for Sustainable Security and Prosperity of the 'Heart of Asia' Region".

Liu further stated that the Istanbul Process is so far the only regional cooperation mechanism on Afghanistan which is led by countries in the "Heart of Asia" region. It follows the principles of regional leadership, regional ownership and consensus. It focuses on political consultation and cooperation on confidence-building measures. It plays an increasingly important role in building consensus among countries in the region, promoting regional cooperation on Afghanistan and advancing peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Compared with other international conferences and processes on Afghanistan, the Istanbul Process gives more emphasis on helping Afghanistan with capacity building and training.

"As Afghanistan is undergoing multiple transitions in its political, security and economic affairs and about to embark on a decade-long transformation period," Liu noted.

Liu said China hopes that the new Afghan government will lead the Afghan people to peace, stability and development.

"While continuing with the assistance and support to Afghanistan through bilateral channels, China hopes to use this multilateral conference and mechanism to build consensus among the 'Heart of Asia' countries to strengthen cooperation on Afghanistan, and jointly safeguard security and stability in Afghanistan and the region," said Liu.

China also hopes that the Conference will help mobilize the entire international community to support Afghanistan, he added.

On President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's visit to China, Liu said that the Presidential election in Afghanistan was completed smoothly not long before and a national unity government was formed. He said President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's state visit to China from Oct 28-31 was his first official overseas visit as Afghan President and the first high-level visit in China-Afghanistan relations since the formation of the new Afghan government. Liu said that China attaches great importance to his visit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had an in-depth exchange of views with President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on bilateral relations and issues of shared interest, Liu said. China hopes that this visit will help deepen China-Afghanistan practical cooperation in all fields, showcase Chinese government's support for the smooth transition as well as peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan and push forward the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Afghanistan.

The Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was jointly initiated by Turkey and Afghanistan in 2011. Now it has 14 "Heart of Asia" countries as its members. Sixteen countries outside the region and 12 regional and international organizations participate in the Process as supporting parties. It holds an annual meeting and the previous three meetings were held in Turkey's Istanbul, Afghanistan's Kabul and Kazakhstan's Almaty, respectively.