On March 30, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process through a video message.
Wang Yi stressed that with the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan standing at a crucial juncture, there is a rare, historic opportunity for a political settlement of the Afghan issue. Peace is an urgent priority and a prerequisite for development; development is a perpetual pursuit and a guarantee for peace. Under the changing circumstances, the role of the international community in making peace, promoting development and building consensus has become all the more important.
Wang Yi put forward suggestions and expectations in the following three areas: first, sustaining the momentum of peace talks and reconciliation in Afghanistan. All parties to the peace talks must act with a sense of responsibility to history, to the people, and to the country. They must strive for broad-based, inclusive and durable peace through sincere dialogue and negotiations. International supporting parties should abide by the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" principle, and contribute more positive energy to the peace and reconciliation process.
Second, adding impetus to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan. All parties should provide more targeted support for Afghanistan to enhance its capability of independent development, get integrated into regional economic development, and grow into a hub of connectivity and a bridge of economic integration in the heart of Asia.
Third, keeping to the overall direction of counter-terrorism cooperation regarding Afghanistan. It will be ill-advised to follow double standards in counter-terrorism. All parties need to join forces and double down on fighting terrorist organizations like the ETIM until they are completely eliminated. Foreign troops should withdraw from Afghanistan in a responsible and orderly way, so as to prevent the various terrorist forces from ramping up and creating trouble.
Wang Yi said, we will continue to do the best we can to support, mediate and facilitate Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process. We will work in concert with all other parties of the Istanbul Process and the international community to bring peace to Afghanistan and deliver the benefits of development to the entire Afghan people at an early date. With our joint support and help, Afghanistan will embrace a brighter future.
Founded in 2011, the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process is a regional cooperation mechanism concerning the Afghan issue led by regional countries. It is composed of 15 participating countries including China, and 28 supporting parties of other countries or international and regional organizations. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attended the opening ceremony of the ministerial conference hosted by Tajikistan.