SCO leaders stress peaceful Afghanistan in summit declaration – [İLKHA] Ilke News Agency – İlke Haber Ajansı (İLKHA)

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Leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries issued a joint statement reaffirming the importance of a peaceful Afghanistan for regional stability during their summit in Astana.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the SCO summit, emphasized the role of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group in promoting stability in Afghanistan. Putin stated, “We support the resumption of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group’s activities, believing it will contribute to normalizing the situation in the country.”

Meanwhile, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon also stressed the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate has not responded directly to the SCO summit discussions. However, Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate, previously expressed openness to increased interaction with regional countries. Mujahid stated, “We welcome the formation of a contact group with Afghanistan to enhance relations, provided it respects our sovereignty.”

At the summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed concerns over terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Guterres urged global unity to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorism, offering UN cooperation with the SCO in anti-terrorism efforts.

In a notable development, Belarus was granted membership as the tenth country in the SCO.

The summit was attended by leaders from Russia, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Türkiye, and several other nations. Notably, Afghanistan, previously an observer, did not participate in this summit. (ILKHA)

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