UN adopts Afghan resolution after clash over China’s ‘Belt and Road’

The United Nations (UN) adopted a resolution to extend its political mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday, after a controversy over including a reference to China’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

During Security Council negotiations on Monday, Beijing threatened to veto if the resolution did not mention Chinese President Xi Jinping’s transcontinental development project, despite the route not running through Afghanistan, according to several diplomats.

A planned vote on Monday to renew the mission was delayed, allowing for late-night talks.

The 15 members of the Security Council unanimously voted in favour of a compromise resolution put forward by Germany and Indonesia on Tuesday, the day the mandate was set to expire.

Germany’s UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said the compromise resolution references the need for “regional connectivity,” but does not mention “any specific initiative.”

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He added that it was important to send a signal that “the UN stands by the side of the Afghan people,” especially after the latest deadly attack in Kabul on Tuesday.

The UN mission, established in 2002, promotes peace and security in Afghanistan and is helping the country prepare for elections on Sept. 28.

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