Beijing pledges $31m in Afghanistan aid
China has decided to provide Afghanistan with emergency humanitarian assistance worth 200 million yuan ($31 million), State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
The aid to the war-torn country will consist of food, winter supplies, vaccines and medicines, he said while speaking in Beijing by video link at the first meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring countries.
Wang said that China is also willing to help Afghanistan with projects to improve its people's living conditions when the security situation allows, and support its peaceful reconstruction and economic development.
China has decided to donate 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan, and is ready to provide the country with more anti-pandemic and emergency supplies, he said, adding that China is also ready to study the possibility of resuming cargo transportation between it and Afghanistan.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi chaired the meeting, which was also attended by the foreign ministers of Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It was held one day after the Taliban announced the formation of a caretaker government in Afghanistan, with Mullah Hassan Akhund as the acting prime minister.
Wang described the meeting as a response to the changes in the situation in Afghanistan, saying that it marks the formal establishment of a coordination and cooperation mechanism by Afghanistan's neighbors.
The meeting was timely and necessary, as it will send a common message from all of Afghanistan's neighbors, he said, calling on them to use the platform to share their policies, coordinate their positions and jointly deal with the challenges.
Wang said that the hasty withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan had left the country facing grave challenges, and some international forces will possibly create new difficulties for it by using political, economic and financial means.
Given the situation, no one is more eager than Afghanistan's neighbors to want it to resume peace and development, he said, calling for the countries involved in the meeting to exert a positive influence on the development of the situation in Afghanistan on the basis of respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Wang urged the US and its allies to meet their obligations to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to help it uphold stability and develop positively.
He also called on Afghanistan's neighbors to guide the Taliban in uniting the nation's ethnic groups and parties to build a broad-based and inclusive political framework, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, firmly fight terrorism of all kinds and establish friendly relations with all countries, particularly with neighboring countries.
He welcomed the positive remarks made by the Taliban on forming the government, fighting terrorism and dealing with relations with Afghanistan's neighbors, saying that the key is translating these into concrete actions. He expressed his hope that the Taliban could honor its commitments and strive for international recognition.
Wang stressed the need for Afghanistan's neighbors to play a unique role in creating a sound external environment for the country's stability and reconstruction, while addressing their own legitimate concerns.
He called on the countries to develop coordination and cooperation in helping Afghanistan with pandemic control, ensuring that its border crossings remain open, strengthening the management and control of refugees and migrants, providing humanitarian assistance to the country, deepening anti-terrorism and security cooperation, and developing anti-narcotics cooperation.
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