The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries have reiterated in a statement that a peaceful Afghanistan is beneficial for the regional countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the SCO summit in Astana, stated that the commencement of the SCO’s contact group will further help in normalizing the situation in Afghanistan.

President Putin said: “We acknowledge that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has been closely involved with Afghanistan’s issues. We support the idea of resuming the activities of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group. We believe this will help further normalize the situation in the country.”

Meanwhile, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon also emphasized the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate has recently not commented on this matter; however, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate, previously told TOLOnews that if there is more interaction between the Islamic Emirate and regional countries, and that they will welcome the creation of this group.

Mujahid said: “If the contact group with Afghanistan is formed with the spirit of ensuring and improving Afghanistan’s relations with other countries, there is no problem, but we should respond to that organization through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and this is a necessity. Having contact is a necessity, and we want good contact.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif once again expressed their concern over the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan at the SCO summit.

Antonio Guterres said: “All countries should unite to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a — for terrorism, and the UN is ready to cooperate with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in relation to the fights against terrorism everywhere.”

Additionally, Belarus obtained membership as the tenth country in the SCO.

Russia, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and some other countries attended the summit. Afghanistan, which used to participate in the SCO meetings as an observer, was not invited to this summit.

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