The Guardian November 21, 2001


Afghanistan:
China calls for political solution

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan called for a political solution to 
the Afghan issue on Monday last week at the United Nations.Tang, who 
attended a high-ranking international meeting on Afghanistan, said that 
China, as a neighbouring country of Afghanistan, was very concerned over 
the situation in the country. 

He maintained that efforts should be made to achieve a political solution 
to the Afghan problem through negotiation and dialogue.

Tang, who is at the UN headquarters in New York to attend the general 
debate of the 56th General Assembly session, made the statement at a 
meeting there, which attracted senior representatives of six neighbouring 
countries of Afghanistan, as well as the United States and the Russian 
Federation.

The meeting is known as "the Six Plus Two" meeting on Afghanistan. The six 
countries are China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan -
- all countries bordering Afghanistan. The two countries are the United 
States and Russia. 

The Chinese Foreign Minister said that under the current situation, the 
following principles should be honoured when efforts are made to properly 
solve the Afghan problem:

First, efforts should be made to safeguard the sovereignty, independence 
and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. The basic principles of the UN 
Charter and international law stipulate the respect for sovereignty, 
independence and territorial integrity of a country.

Secondly, the Afghan people should be able to decide on the solution to 
their problem independently.

Thirdly, the future Afghan government should be broad-based, represent the 
interests of all ethnic groups in the country and develop good relations 
with Afghanistan's neighboring countries.

Fourthly, efforts should be made to maintain the peace and stability in 
the region.

Whether the stability can be restored in Afghanistan is associated with the 
immediate interests of all its neighbouring countries, and will affect 
peace and stability in the region, he added.

Last, the United Nations should play a more constructive role in solving 
the Afghan problem. 

The United Nations and its Security Council have long played a very 
important role in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan, he said.

The process of solving the Afghan problem is very complicated so it would 
be very helpful for most countries and all factions in Afghanistan to reach 
consensus on relevant issues if the UN played a positive role.

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