China seeks regional support for Afghanistan
Ambassador Luo Zhaohui of China issued the call at a meeting of senior officials from countries participating in and supporting the Istanbul Process on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly in New York on Monday.
China will host the next ministerial meeting in 2014, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul. Luo said the Istanbul Process had achieved a lot and the region should continue to cooperate bilaterally and through multilateral platforms like that of the Heart of Asia.
Participants stressed the value of political consultations as a platform for dialogue and constructive engagement, as well as the importance of implementation of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative Jan Kubis said the region realised it had a shared responsibility for responding to common challenges and working together to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi and underlined the overall success of the Istanbul Process. He pointed to the particular success of the ministerial meeting in Almaty in April that marked the implementation phase of the CBMs.
“I think … it is time for action on the part of the Heart of Asia and supporting countries and organisations,” remarked Ahmadi. “It is a great chance for all supporting countries and regional and international organisations to demonstrate their concrete support for this process.”
He added: “We are hopeful that with the leadership and support of the very valuable and active co-chair, the People’s Republic of China, we will be able to keep these promises.”
The meeting was briefed on results of an expert study on options for a funding mechanism to implement the CBMs and agreed a final decision would be taken at the next senior officials’ meeting on Dec. 6 in New Delhi.
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