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Monday 18 May 2020

Russia, Pakistan, Iran, China Envoys Urge early Launch of Intra-Afghan Negotiations

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MOSCOW (TASS) — Special envoys for Afghanistan from Russia, Pakistan, Iran and China have urged all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia), to pave the way for negotiations, according to a joint statement issued Monday by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The envoys “welcome the agreement between the two main political leaders [Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah] and hope that this important event will accelerate the start of intra-Afghan negotiations”, the statement said. To this end, they “call on all Afghan ethnic groups and parties, including the Taliban, to seize opportunities to prepare the situation in order to launch intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible”, the statement added.

Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan draw attention to developments related to the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and “call on foreign troops withdrawal in an orderly and responsible way so that the situation in Afghanistan will experience a steady transition.” They support the release of prisoners and detainees held by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan and hope that UN Security Council Resolution 2513(2020) will be respected.

The Special Representatives “support the initiative of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for [a] universal ceasefire and call for the simultaneous declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan, as agreed by the parties to the conflict”, the statement added.

The envoys urge the Afghan parties to take resolute action against Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other international terrorist organizations operating against regional states, as well as to take measures against domestic drug production and trafficking.

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