Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end: Chinese FM Wang Yi at G20

© Provided by Hindustan Times Women look at household items at a stall in a market in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Wednesday. Economic sanctions against Afghanistan must end and unilateral restrictions should be lifted as soon as possible, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi has said. (AFP)

Economic sanctions against Afghanistan must end and unilateral restrictions on the country should be lifted as soon as possible, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi has said.

Sanctions should not be used as bargaining chips, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday, citing Wang Yi’s speech via video link at the virtual G20 foreign ministers’ meet on Afghanistan.

“Economic sanctions must end. Various unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan should be lifted as soon as possible,” Wang Yi said.

“Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves are national assets that should belong to the country’s people and be used by its own people, and not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan,” he said.

Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction and medium- and long-term development cannot do without financial support from the international community, the Chinese diplomat said.

China, Wang Yi said, calls on G20 members to actively take practical measures to help Afghanistan ease the current liquidity pressure.

“International financial institutions should also provide financing support for Afghanistan’s poverty reduction, sustainable development, people’s livelihood, and infrastructure projects,” he said.

Wang Yi called on the Group of 20 (G20) to speed up their efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

The Chinese foreign minister said that the Afghan Taliban has announced the establishment of an interim government, which means that their domestic and foreign policies were still being adjusted and have not yet been fully finalised.

He said the international community should support the Afghan people’s wish to independently choose a development path that suits their national conditions.

China announced earlier this month that it had decided to urgently provide 200 million yuan ($30.96 million) worth of grains, winter supplies, vaccines and other medicines to Afghanistan, including an initial 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, Wang Yi noted.

The Chinese diplomat urged “certain countries” that had caused the current difficult situation in Afghanistan to shoulder their responsibilities and make concrete efforts to help the Afghan people.

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