Expressing support for the Afghan peace process, special representatives from China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia welcomed the signing of the power-sharing deal between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah and urged for a responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn nation to ensure a smooth transition.
The Special Representatives on Afghanistan Affairs of the four nations issued a statement after a virtual meeting during which they exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and the reconciliation process, Pakistan's Foreign Office said.
The special representatives reiterated respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and welcomed the agreement between the two main Afghan leaders, hoping that it would expedite the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.
Ghani and Abdullah on Sunday shared a power-sharing deal on Sunday after months of a bitter dispute over the results of last year's presidential election that pushed the country into a political crisis.
As per the deal, Ghani will stay as the president, while Abdullah will helm the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) with executive authority and his team will have a 50 per cent share in the cabinet.
They also called on "foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible way" so that the situation in Afghanistan experience a steady transition.
They said that the inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations are the only way to realise the Afghan national reconciliation, leading to prompt end of the prolonged conflict in the country.
The representatives also called on all Afghan ethnic groups and parties, including Taliban, to act upon the opportunities preparing the situation to launch the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible, the FO said.
They also supported the release of prisoners and detainees held by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.
The four nations also voiced support for the initiative of UN Secretary General Antnio Guterres for universal ceasefire and called for a simultaneous declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan as agreed among parties to the conflict.
They also expressed concern at the terrorism threat existing in Afghanistan and urged all the stakeholders in the country to take decisive action against Al-Qaeda, IS (Islamic State), ETIM (Turkistan Islamic Party), TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban) and other international terrorist organisations operating against regional countries, and to completely eradicate the production and trafficking of narcotics in the country.
They also reaffirmed support to Afghanistan to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and welcome the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
Underscoring that the repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees should be part of any peace and reconciliation process, they called upon the international community to support time-bound return of Afghan refugees with dignity and honour.
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