HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF SIX PLUS TWO GROUP ON AFGHANISTAN19990923
Following is the text of a statement issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
At the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a working lunch of the Six plus Two informal group on Afghanistan was held at United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday, 22 September, to exchange views on the current situation in Afghanistan. The meeting was also attended by the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Turkmenistan; the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the United States Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia; the Director of the Third Asian Department, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation; and the Permanent Representatives of China and Tajikistan to the United Nations. The discussion was moderated by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast.
Members of the Group reaffirmed the principles contained in the Tashkent Declaration on Fundamental Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict in Afghanistan, adopted on 19 July 1999. They expressed grave concern at the escalation of fighting in Afghanistan which started immediately after the issuing of the Tashkent Declaration.
Members of the Group stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of political dialogue between the Afghan parties, with several members suggesting that the Group strengthen their joint efforts to facilitate such a dialogue. There was broad agreement on the need to put an end to outside interference in the Afghan conflict, especially the supply of weapons and other war materiél to the Afghan parties.
Members of the Group expressed deep concern at the increased cultivation, production and trafficking of narcotics in and from Afghanistan, the use of Afghan territory for terrorist activities, as well as at grave human rights violations, such as the dire situation of
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ethnic minorities, women and girls and other human rights violations. Several members considered that mechanisms should be established to give expression to their will to cooperate more closely against both narcotics and terrorism.
Members of the Group expressed their appreciation for the tireless efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Lakhdar Brahimi, as well as for the work of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan.
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