Sun, 17 Oct 2021

ANKARA - China has called for an end to economic sanctions on Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

"Economic sanctions must be stopped. All kinds of unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan should be lifted," China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a G20 meeting hosted by Italy on Wednesday.

He said Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves are its "national assets and should be owned by and used for the people, rather than being used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan," a statement by China's Foreign Ministry said.

China calls on G20 members "to actively take practical steps to help Afghanistan ease the current liquidity stress," Wang said.

"International financial institutions should also provide financing support for the poverty reduction, sustainable development, livelihood, and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan," he added.

After the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, the US froze Afghanistan's USD7 billion in Afghan foreign reserves held in New York.

Besides, the World Bank, IMF, EU also suspended financing for projects in Afghanistan.

"We hope the countries responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan will seriously reflect on their past role, take speedy and concrete steps to ease the difficulties facing Afghan people, and truly perform their due responsibilities," the Chinese foreign minister told the G20 meeting that was held online to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Wang called for addressing the "symptoms and root causes" of the refugee issue.

"The US and the NATO countries should take the primary responsibility for solving the issue of Afghan refugees and migrants. The economic reconstruction of Afghanistan is the fundamental solution to the issue of refugees and migrants," he said.

The foreign forces completely withdrew from Afghanistan, ending the 20-year long war.

The country was mostly dependent on foreign aid with some USD8.5 billion a year which accounted for nearly half of the country's gross domestic product. (Anadolu)

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