ISLAMABAD - Regional powers on Tuesday urged the Afghan parties and groups to launch the Intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible; The Special Representatives on Afghanistan Affairs of Pakistan, China, Russian Federation, and Iran held a virtual meeting, and exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and the peace and reconciliation process thereof. The Special Representatives on Afghanistan Affairs of the four sides reiterated their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and the decision of its people on their future and development path. They welcomed the power-sharing agreement between two main political leaders -Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah - and hoped that this important event will expedite start of the intra-Afghan negotiations. They supported the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process, believe that the inclusive Intra-Afghan negotiations are the only way to realize the Afghan national reconciliation, leading to prompt end of the prolonged conflict, a joint statement said. They 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. They supported Afghanistan to achieve comprehensive and sustainable peace at an early date.

They urged to pay close attention to the follow-up developments resulting in exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan, call on foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible way so that the situation in Afghanistan will experience a steady transition. They supported release of prisoners and detainees held by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.  They hoped the Resolution 2513(2020) of the UN Security Council can be observed and implemented. They supported the initiative of the UN Secretary General António Guterres for universal ceasefire and call for a simultaneous declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan as agreed among parties to the conflict, The countries expressed with the serious terrorism threat existing in Afghanistan, urge all sides in Afghanistan to take decisive action against Al-Qaeda, ISIL, ETIM, TTP and other international terrorist organizations operating against regional countries, and to completely eradicate the production and trafficking of narcotics in the country. They reaffirmed their support to Afghanistan to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, welcome the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. They underscored that repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees should be part of any peace and reconciliation process, call upon the international community to support time bound return of Afghan refugees with dignity and honour; The four countries agreed to maintain the contact on the Afghanistan issue, and work together to advance the Afghan peace reconciliation and reconstruction process.