|China said in Istanbul Tuesday that it supports the trilateral cooperation among Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan in their efforts to address the issue of Afghanistan.
The statement was made by Yang Jiechi, the special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the regional summit on Afghanistan.
Yang said that Afghanistan has gradually recovered from the traumas of war and scored commendable achievements in institution building, economic development and external relations.
However, he noted, Afghanistan is still confronted with a myriad of daunting challenges. The security situation remains volatile, the process of economic reconstruction is slow and people's livelihood needs urgent improvement.
As a neighbor of Afghanistan, he said, China has actively supported, promoted and participated in Afghanistan's post-war peace and reconstruction effort. China will continue to give support to Afghanistan within its capability.
Addressing leaders and senior officials from Afghanistan's neighboring countries, the Chinese foreign minister put forward suggestions for the regional efforts to address the Afghan issue.
He said, "Countries in the region have special associations with Afghanistan due to geographical, religious, ethnic and linguistic reasons."
"We should employ our unique influence to help Afghanistan realize peace, stability, economic development and social harmony at an early date. We should facilitate its integration into regional and international cooperation. And we must always remember to fully respect the independence of Afghanistan," he said.
"We should accord top priority to Afghanistan's capacity building and human resources development. And, we should, under the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, engage in result-oriented cooperation with Afghanistan in such key areas as transport and trade facilitation, energy, communications, drug control and education," he said.
The Chinese minister called on regional countries to strengthen coordination and improve efficiency. "There are now quite a number of mechanisms and initiatives regarding Afghanistan. Countries in the region should increase communication to ensure that the relevant mechanisms are viable, practical and efficient and can play a positive role in bringing about an early solution to the Afghan issue."
"We should avoid overlapping of various mechanisms as that can only waste our resources. It is important to fully respect and accommodate the shared aspirations of Afghanistan and its neighbors, engage in consultations on an equal footing, seek incremental progress and gradually build and expand consensus," he noted.
"Cooperation between countries in the region and Afghanistan is only a part of the international endeavor to support Afghanistan's reconstruction. It is imperative to respect the leading role of the United Nations in coordinating international efforts and demonstrate openness and transparency," Yang said.
Countries outside the region should vigorously support the efforts of countries in the region and fully appreciate their difficulties in order to foster sound interactions between the two, he added.
The summit followed a trilateral meeting between Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan here on Monday, during which presidents of the three countries gave support to Afghanistan's Taliban reconciliation plan and pledged to continue cooperation in fighting terrorism.