ISLAMABAD: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Contact Group on Afghanistan held at the Deputy Foreign Minister level in Moscow on Wednesday, unanimously supported measures for strengthening interaction between Afghanistan and the SCO countries.
According to Foreign Office statement, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua participated in the meeting of the SCO Contact Group. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov chaired the meeting while Deputy Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India and the representatives of SCO and its relevant bodies attended the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Foreign Secretary Janjua underlined the challenges faced by Afghanistan including deteriorating security situation marked by increasing ungoverned spaces being used to provide sanctuary to the terrorist groups like Daesh, Al-Qaeda, TTP and JuA and increasing drug production which threatened Afghanistan’s neighbours. She stressed the need for making serious efforts for negotiated settlement between Afghan government and Taliban for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Secretary also emphasized the importance of early return of Afghan refugees and combating drug production and trafficking which continued to affect stability of Afghanistan and the region.
The members of the SCO Contact Group exchanged views on ways and means to support peace and stability in Afghanistan through facilitating Afghan led peace process, assisting Afghan government in dealing with security and counter-terrorism challenges and promoting regional economic integration and connectivity.
The member countries welcomed Chinese proposal for hosting the next meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan in Beijing in early 2018.