China’s foreign minister to attend Samarkand meeting on Afghanistan

China is willing to work with Afghanistan’s neighboring countries to help realize peace, economic development and regional security, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

Wang also announced that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang will attend the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting of neighboring countries of Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Wednesday and Thursday, April 12 to 13.

Qin has been invited by Uzbekistan’s acting foreign minister Bakhtiyor Saidov, Wang said.

“The Chinese side looks forward to having an in-depth exchange of views on the current situation in Afghanistan with all participants through this meeting, further consolidating the consensus among neighboring countries on the Afghan issue, and making solid progress on promoting the implementation of the consensus reached at previous foreign ministers’ meetings,” Wang said.

He also stated that China supports the Taliban government and its people to overcome difficulties and challenges. “At the same time, China will earnestly respond to the world’s legitimate concerns, and create more favorable conditions for neighboring countries to expand bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan and promote Afghanistan’s integration into the process of regional connectivity and economic integration, making joint efforts to boost peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region,” said Wang.

On Friday, the Russian foreign ministry confirmed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will also attend the Samarkand meeting, which will also include representatives from Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The meeting aims to discuss regional efforts toward an Afghan political settlement and stabilizing the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the country.

Last week, the Russian foreign ministry emphasized the importance of coordinating counter-terrorism and anti-drug efforts, given the challenging security situation, growing terrorist activity, and drug production in Afghanistan.