عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Solidarity for Security and Cooperation for Development

2015/12/09

Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi

At the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process

Islamabad, 9 December 2015

 

Your Excellency Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs,
Your Excellency Salahuddin Rabbani, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan,
Colleagues,
Friends,

Good Morning. Let me begin by congratulating Pakistan on the successful opening of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process. We listened carefully to the statements by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ashraf Ghani. And we welcome and appreciate President Ghani coming to Pakistan for this conference.

In our discussions, we will focus on the theme of "Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region" to pool consensus and inject fresh impetus to the Istanbul Process.

Friends,

Over the past year, under the leadership of President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, the Afghan national unity government has made positive progress in various fields, which is well recognized by the international community. With the support of Pakistan and China and participation of the United States, the first round of peace talks was held between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which marks the most meaningful step forward in the national reconciliation process this year. That said, Afghanistan is yet to be free from armed conflicts, terrorism and drug problems and the momentum for reconciliation has not been sustained. It remains a long-term and arduous task for the country to realize prosperity and security. Given the current situation facing Afghanistan, China calls for enhanced cooperation in the following key areas.

First, intensify assistance and support for peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. While respecting its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the international community should honor assistance commitments and help Afghanistan strengthen its capacity for pursuing development and security, with a view to gradually achieving a positive cycle of security and development.

Second, firmly support the national reconciliation process. China calls on all groups in Afghanistan to resume peace talks at an early date in the interest of the country and people. The Heart of Asia countries, in particular those who have made efforts before, need to continue to create conditions and provide support and help for the resumption of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Third, strengthen Afghanistan's capacity for independent development. It is important to help Afghanistan fully harness its advantages with priority given to areas such as infrastructure, mineral resources development and human resources training so as to equip Afghanistan with greater capacity for sustainable development.

Fourth, form synergy in regional security cooperation. Countries in the region and the international community need to commit to common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, support the Afghan government in capacity building, step up counter-terrorism intelligence sharing and border control and jointly combat cross-border crimes and drug trafficking.

Fifth, deepen regional connectivity and economic integration. The international community need to provide support and facilitation to Afghanistan on transportation infrastructure, investment, trade, market and tariff. China welcomes active participation by Afghanistan and other Heart of Asia countries in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and supports early integration of Afghanistan in regional development.

Friends,

As a neighbor of Afghanistan and good friend of the Afghan people, China supports Afghanistan in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, in seeking a development path in light of its own conditions and the will of its people and in advancing the peace and reconstruction process. China has provided, in its own way, support and help to Afghanistan as it needs.

- China firmly supports peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. As the latest step, China has decided to allocate RMB500 million yuan of free assistance for public housing project in Afghanistan. In the wake of recent earthquakes, China acted promptly to provide humanitarian supplies and emergency assistance in cash. A Chinese delegation has visited Afghanistan for discussions on its future national infrastructure development plan and has proposed to prioritize plans for transportation, water resources and renewable energy.

-China firmly supports the "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" inclusive political reconciliation process. We will work with Pakistan and interested countries like the United States to continue to play a constructive role in the reconciliation process on the basis of respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty and the will of all groups, and provide the avenue for and facilitate the resumption of peace talks.

-China takes an active part in Afghanistan-related regional and international coordination and cooperation. We support cooperation on confidence-building measures under the framework of the Istanbul Process. As announced at last year's Ministerial Conference in Beijing, China has hosted training programs on counter-terrorism, anti-narcotics and disaster management, which have delivered good results. As for next year, China plans to hold workshops to discuss further regional cooperation on connectivity and business, host training programs on disaster relief and reduction to strengthen the resilience of the region against natural disasters and organize field trips to provinces and regions in China to explore cooperation opportunities under the "Belt and Road" initiative. China will make every effort to ensure the success of these programs and looks forward to active participation by the Heart of Asia countries.

To ensure that cooperation under the Istanbul Process is well-targeted and effective, China suggests that Afghanistan be the chief lead country for projects in all six priority areas and various lead countries be responsible for timely updates on the implementation, which would be reviewed by the Senior Officials' Meeting and reported to the Ministerial Conference. We also call on supporting countries and international organizations to provide concrete and strong support to relevant projects in terms of capital, technology and human resources. We also support closer coordination and cooperation between the Istanbul Process and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other existing regional and international mechanisms.

- China vigorously promotes mini-lateral cooperation. China and the United States have co-hosted training programs for Afghan diplomats for four consecutive years and successfully completed the first joint training program for Afghan agro-technology professionals. The first round of joint training for Afghan medical personnel is under way. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this year, China, the United States and Afghanistan jointly held a regional economic cooperation conference. Such cooperation has become important complement to China-Afghanistan bilateral cooperation.

Friends,

We all have stakes in security and development of Afghanistan. China will, together with the international community, make tireless efforts for enduring security and common prosperity in Afghanistan and the wider region. I wish this Ministerial Conference a complete success.

Thank you.

Suggest to a friend
Print