The entrance to the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, April 4, 2018. (Xinhua/Li He)
China welcomes the U.S.-Taliban agreement and firmly supports the broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- China welcomes the signing of a U.S.-Taliban agreement as a positive step in achieving a political solution of the Afghan issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Representatives of the United States and the Taliban on Saturday signed the long-awaited deal in the Qatari capital city of Doha, calling for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops if the Taliban negotiates with the Afghan government and cuts ties with terrorist groups. The signing ceremony was attended by representatives of many regional and international organizations and countries including China.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing that China welcomes the agreement and firmly supports the broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 28, 2020. Trump said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend the signing of U.S.-Taliban agreement, which could be one step forward to ultimate U.S. troops withdrawal and lasting peace in Afghanistan. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)
He expressed the hope that the deal can facilitate a lasting peace on the land of Afghanistan.
Zhao said foreign troops in Afghanistan should withdraw in an orderly and responsible way to ensure a smooth transition in the Afghan situation and avoid a security vacuum, which terrorist organizations may take advantage of. Meanwhile, the international community should continue to support and participate in the reconstruction process in Afghanistan.
"China calls on the Afghan Taliban and all parties in the country to grasp the opportunity to start the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible, and to negotiate for political and security arrangements acceptable to all so as to realize lasting peace and stability of Afghanistan," said the spokesperson.
Local people celebrate the peace agreement between U.S. and Taliban in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, Feb. 29, 2020. (Photo by Sanaullah Siam/Xinhua)
He said China is willing to work with the international community to continually provide supports and assistance to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
The U.S. side and the government of Afghanistan also released a joint declaration on Saturday in Kabul. When asked for comments, Zhao said that China will continue to work as a supporter, mediator and convenience provider of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and play a constructive role on the basis of respecting the will of all parties in Afghanistan. ■