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Wang Yi Speaks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on the Phone

On August 20, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio at the latter's request. The two sides mainly exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.

Wang Yi said that a new page has been turned in Afghan history, and a just historical conclusion will eventually be reached about what happened in the past. But one thing is clear: it does not work to impose certain values on other peoples and civilizations. It has never worked, nor will it ever work.

Wang Yi said that the international community is concerned about the future of Afghanistan, and all parties share the common hope that Afghanistan builds an open and inclusive political system, pursues moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and severs ties with all terrorist organizations completely. We have noted that the Taliban spokesperson has made active responses to the said concerns of the international community on many occasions, and demonstrated a cooperative attitude. "To hear their words, and look at their conduct." We hope that the situation in Afghanistan can keep moving ahead on the right course. At the same time, we need to see that there are still many destabilizing factors in the country, and the shaping of upcoming policies of the Taliban is also uncertain.

Wang Yi said that the decision about the future of Afghanistan should be made by the Afghan people and respected by all parties. It is certainly necessary for the international community to play its due role, too. One approach is to try to exert pressure, cause financial difficulties, or even contrive certain "sanctions". This will not solve any problem, but will backfire instead. Another approach is to pay attention to the active signals that the Afghan Taliban sent recently, and encourage it to make adjustments and conversion towards a modern political force. This is undoubtedly beneficial to the Afghan people and is conducive to regional stability, thereby forestalling the occurrence of refugee and migrant waves, which is crucial for Italy and the entire Europe. China has all along supported Italy in playing an active role in international affairs, assuming the G20 presidency, and making an active contribution to solving the Afghan issue.

Di Maio expressed that China has an important influence on all international and regional issues, and can also play a key role in Afghanistan. Italy completely agrees with China's views, supports active communication with the Afghan Taliban and the provision of positive guidance. The international community should make concerted efforts to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a gathering place of terrorism again. Italy hopes to have discussions with all parties within the G20 framework to seek consensus and solve issues.

The two sides also briefly exchanged views on bilateral relations. Wang Yi expressed that Milan will host the 2026 Winter Olympics following Beijing, and the two countries have reached consensus on supporting each other's organization of the Games. With Italy being the major honored guest country of the Beijing World Winter Sports Expo next month, a new field of cooperation in the winter sports industry will be created. We hope that Italy will work with China to oppose any practice to interfere with, undermine, or even boycott the Olympics so that the Winter Olympics in both Beijing and Milan will demonstrate the new Olympic spirit of "Together".

Di Maio fully agrees with China's view of staging a successful Winter Olympics, and holds the view that the two sides should work together to stage a stunning handover ceremony of the Winter Olympics, for which Italy will do its utmost. Next year is also the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism. Italy wishes to work with China to make all activities a success.

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