Int’l community should support Afghans in their own choice of development path: Chinese envoy

Local men work at a construction site for new shops in Helmand, Afghanistan. Source: Google Images

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 19 : A Chinese envoy on Friday called on the international community to support Afghans in their own choice of a development path, fight terrorism in the country and provide humanitarian assistance.

The international community should, on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, follow the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” principle, and support Afghans in their own choice of a development path, said Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN).

In an explanation following the UN Security Council’s vote to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Dai called on the international community to promote an inclusive political architecture in Afghanistan that carries out moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, maintains friendly and good-neighborly relations with neighboring countries, and respects the rights of ethnic minorities, women, and children.

“There are real risks of international terrorist forces gathering in Afghanistan. The international community must continue to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, fight all terrorist forces, including the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement,” he said.

The Taliban have repeatedly pledged not to allow Afghan soil to be used to undermine the security interests of other countries, Dai said, adding that China hopes they will honor this commitment, cut off ties with all terrorist groups and wipe out terrorism in the country.

The Chinese envoy pointed out that currently, almost half of the Afghan population lives under the poverty line, some 14 million people face a food crisis, and the country is plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.

China supports the United Nations in playing a bigger role in mobilizing and coordinating humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, he said.