Intra-Afghan talks open window of opportunity for realizing peace, stability in Afghanistan: China

BEIJING, Oct 22 (APP): China on Thursday said the intra-Afghan negotiations had opened a window of opportunity for realizing peace and stability in Afghanistan and hoped that both sides would put nation and people first, seize the opportunity, seek common ground and strive for the early outcomes.

“The intra-Afghan negotiations have opened a window of opportunity for realizing peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing while responding to a question about the first intra-Afghan talks currently underway in Doha, Qatar.

He said the Chinese side always supported an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” inclusive peace and reconciliation process, and maintained that the two sides should resolve the issue at the negotiating table instead of on the battlefield.

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Zhao hoped that both sides would put nation and people first, seize the opportunity, seek common ground while shelving differences, find the greatest common denominator, have confidence and show good faith, exercise patience and restraint, and strive for early outcomes.

“China holds that the international community, including the United States, should play a constructive role in advancing intra-Afghan talks and support relevant parties in doing their best to promote peace talks,” he said and added, “At the same time, we believe that no one should arbitrarily interfere in the peace and reconciliation process for selfish interests.”

The spokesperson said, to safeguard and promote security and stability in Afghanistan was an important prerequisite for peace, reconciliation, reconstruction and development.

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Terming the Afghan issue is complicated and difficult to resolve, he said, the internal and external factors must work in concert towards the same direction in order to achieve intended outcomes.

He remarked that the United States was the biggest external factor on this issue and added, “It should withdraw troops in an orderly and responsible manner, prevent further escalation of violence in Afghanistan, and create a favorable external environment for intra-Afghan negotiations, rather than the opposite.”