‘Heart of Asia’ stresses need for ceasefire in Afghanistan

TEHRAN, Mar. 31 (MNA) – The ninth edition of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process wrapped up on Wednesday while the participates pointed to the need for a comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan.

Foreign ministers and representatives of Iran, Turkey, Russia, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attended the Dushanbe-hosted conference that pushed for expediting the peace drive in Afghanistan.

In the final statement, the participants called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan, noting that the Afghan issue does not have a military solution and that dialogue is the only path to end the prolonged crisis in the country.

The participating countries voiced their support for the Afghan peace process and the continuation of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Condemning the violence and presence of some terrorist groups in Afghanistan, the statement noted that Afghanistan should not become a base for threatening other regional countries.

The statement also points to other issues, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, boosting economic cooperation, and returning of refugees, among others.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had participated in the conference, holding talks with officials from different countries on Afghan peace and on bilateral relations.

MAH/FNA14000111000079

News Code 171532

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