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China Hosting Meeting of Afghanistan’s Neighbors This Week To Address Dire Crisis

March 29, 2022 (EIRNS)—As announced by Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin yesterday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will chair the March 30-31 meeting of foreign ministers in Tunxi, Anhui province, titled “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan.” Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will attend the meeting, which will also include Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The foreign ministers of Indonesia and Qatar have also been invited to attend as guests.

As Ukraine has been the focus of international attention recently, the purpose of the meeting is to refocus attention on Afghanistan, discuss pooling of resources, and forge a consensus on immediate priorities to stabilize the country, support the Afghan people, and urge the international community to accelerate its assistance to the country. The meeting is also expected to issue a call to unfreeze the $9 billion in assets of Da Afghanistan Bank central bank, illegally confiscated by the U.S. Treasury in August of last year and held in U.S. and European banks.

On the sidelines of this meeting, there will be a meeting of the China-U.S.-Russia consultation mechanism on Afghanistan, attended by each country’s special representative for Afghanistan. Chinese Foreign Ministry official Yue Xiaoyong will chair the meeting, and Wang Yi will also meet with representatives of all three parties, as announced by Wang Wenbin today. Following the Afghan meeting, Wang Yi will hold individual meetings March 31-April 3 with the visiting Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Myanmar. The purpose of these latter meetings will be to discuss progress made in implementing the agreements made at last year’s summit to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and address progress in advancing the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping.

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