US, Russia And China Reach ‘Consensus’ On Afghan Peace

The trilateral meeting between special envoys of United States, Russia and China in Moscow on Thursday ended with a “trilateral consensus” on the Afghan peace process, reads a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

At the second trilateral consultation on Afghanistan held in Moscow, Chinese Special Envoy Deng Xijun, Russian Presidential Representative Zamir Kabulov, and U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its ongoing peace process.

According to the statement, the three sides agreed on the following matters:

•    The statement reads that the three sides respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan as well as its right to choose its development path.  The three sides prioritize the interests of the Afghan people in promoting a peace process.

•    The three sides support an inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process and are ready to provide necessary assistance. The three sides encourage the Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks with a broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government as soon as possible. Toward this end, and as agreed in Moscow in February 2019, we support a second round of intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha (Qatar).

•    The three sides support the Afghan government efforts to combat international terrorism and extremist organizations in Afghanistan. They take note of the Afghan Taliban’s commitment to: fight Daesh and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ETIM, and other international terrorist groups; ensure the areas they control will not be used to threaten any other country; and call on them to prevent terrorist recruiting, training, and fundraising, and expel any known terrorists.

•    The three sides recognize the Afghan people’s strong desire for a comprehensive ceasefire. As a first step, we call on all parties to agree on immediate and concrete steps to reduce violence.

•    The three sides stress the importance of fighting illegal drug production and trafficking, and call on the Afghan government and the Taliban to take all the necessary steps to eliminate the drug threat in Afghanistan.

•    The three sides call for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as part of the overall peace process.

•    The three sides call for regional countries to support this trilateral consensus and are ready to build a more extensive regional and international consensus on Afghanistan.

•    The three sides agreed on a phased expansion of their consultations before the next trilateral meeting in Beijing. The date and composition of the meeting will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

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