News ID: 301747
Published: 0955 GMT March 31, 2021

‘Heart of Asia’ urges need for ceasefire in Afghanistan

‘Heart of Asia’ urges need for ceasefire in Afghanistan

The ninth ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process wrapped up on Wednesday with the participants stressing the need for a comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan.

Foreign ministers and representatives of Iran, Turkey, Russia, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attended the conference that pushed for expediting the peace drive in the war-torn Afghanistan, Mehr News Agency reported.

The event was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

In its final statement, the participants called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan, noting that the Afghan issue does not have a military solution and that dialogue is the only path to end the prolonged crisis in the country.

The participating countries voiced their support for the Afghan peace process and the continuation of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Condemning the violence and presence of some terrorist groups in Afghanistan, the statement noted that Afghanistan should not become a base for threatening other regional countries.

The statement also points to other issues, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, boosting economic cooperation, and returning of refugees, among others.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had participated in the conference, and held separate meetings with his counterparts and other senior officials from different countries on Afghan peace and on bilateral relations.

Addressing the conference on Tuesday, Zarif said any peace agreement for Afghanistan should guarantee Afghan people’s right to determine their own fate.

He further urged the United Nations to facilitate the Afghan-Afghan talks.

Iran has repeatedly announced its support for the national peace talks in Afghanistan and for the participation of all ethnic Afghan groups in the future of their country in a completely peaceful manner.

The first Asian Heart Conference, also known as the Istanbul Process, was held in Istanbul in 2011 with the participation of foreign ministers from 14 countries to expand regional cooperation towards Afghanistan in 2011 with the focus of Afghanistan and Turkey’s efforts.

Resource: MNA
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