Chinese envoy asks for efforts to promote political dialogue, facilitate elections in Afghanistan

                            2019-03-12 02:07:34 GMT2019-03-12 10:07:34(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

                            UNITED NATIONS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Monday asked for efforts to promote political dialogue in Afghanistan and facilitate the holding of the presidential poll scheduled for July 2019.

                            "We should promote political dialogue in the country," Wu Haitao, the charge d'affaires of China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, told the Security Council. "We called on all parties in the country to put their national interests first and seize the important opportunity of political reconciliation to embark on the path of peace."

                            The international community should support the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned inclusive political process, and support the government in developing a comprehensive, inclusive, and actionable roadmap for political reconciliation, he said.

                            Wu asked the international community to support the Afghan government's efforts to promote political dialogue and persuade the Taliban to come back to the negotiating table at an early date.

                            At present, the situation in Afghanistan is at a critical juncture as the country has multiple important issues on its political agenda and at the same time faces challenging security and humanitarian situations, said Wu.

                            The international community should honor its commitment by sustaining its firm support to Afghanistan as durable peace and development in the country will not only benefit the Afghan people, but also regional security, stability, peace, and prosperity, he said.

                            Wu also asked for efforts to facilitate the holding of the presidential election in Afghanistan.

                            "We hope the new Independent Election Commission will scale up its preparations for the presidential election. We also hope that UNAMA will provide technical support to the commission," said Wu, referring to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

                            All parties in Afghanistan should enhance unity and take national stability as their shared responsibility and address their differences through dialogue, said the Chinese envoy.

                            The top UN envoy for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, warned on Monday that the holding of the presidential election on schedule will be "very challenging."

                            The widespread reports of irregularities during parliamentary elections in October 2018 undermined confidence in the electoral management bodies. As a result, the country's Election Law had to be amended and the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission had to be reshuffled, he told the Security Council ahead of Wu's statement.

                            "With less than five months remaining until election day, the technical and political challenges are daunting," said Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general's special representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

                            Echoing Yamamoto's concerns over Afghanistan's security and humanitarian situations in his briefing to the Security Council, Wu asked for efforts to improve the security situation in Afghanistan and lift people's livelihood.

                            2018 saw a record high of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and drug production remained high, said Wu. The international community should help the Afghan national security force with its capacity building, help the country develop alternative agriculture and fight terrorists, he said.

                            He also asked the international community to effectively help improve the livelihood of the Afghan people.

                            The past five years have seen a drastic increase in the number of people living in poverty in the country. The international community should continue to help the Afghan government and people eliminate poverty and improve people's lives by honoring its commitment to assistance, helping the country unlock its development potential, and integrating into regional economic cooperation, he said.

                            China is ready to work with the international community to contribute to the security, stability, development, and prosperity in Afghanistan, said Wu.


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