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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Met with Li Yuanchao

2015/11/04

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with Vice President Li Yuanchao in Kabul on November 3.

Li Yuanchao passed on the oral message from President Xi Jinping to President Ghani. President Xi Jinping sent his best regards and wishes to President Ghani, and expressed on behalf of the Chinese government and people sincere sympathy to the Afghan government and people that are combating the earthquake and carrying out relief work. President Xi Jinping said that relief supplies provided by the Chinese government arrived in Kabul today. On top of that, the Chinese government has decided to offer 1 million US dollars in cash as emergency assistance to Afghanistan in its disaster relief. It is believed that under the leadership of President Ghani and the Afghan government, Afghan people would be able to tide over the disaster and rebuild their homeland. President Ghani paid his first visit to China after taking office last year, and reached important consensus with President Xi Jinping on deepening bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation. This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-Afghanistan diplomatic ties and the year of friendly cooperation between China and Afghanistan. Bilateral relations are developing with sound momentum. Upholding the friendly policy toward Afghanistan, China will continue to support Afghan government's efforts to promote domestic peace, stability and development, help Afghanistan with peaceful reconstruction and social development as its capacity allows, step up practical cooperation with Afghanistan in economy, culture, defense security and other areas, and advance China-Afghanistan strategic partnership of cooperation.

Li Yuanchao said that China and Afghanistan are close neighbors who have a time-honored history of friendly exchanges. Since the establishment of bilateral ties 60 years ago, the two countries have always been trusting, understanding and supporting each other. China-Afghanistan relationship has achieved fast development since the start of peaceful reconstruction in Afghanistan. The two countries established and improved the strategic partnership of cooperation.

Li Yuanchao said that China takes Afghanistan as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy. It is China's long-standing policy of consolidating and developing traditional friendship with Afghanistan. The Chinese side appreciates the precious support from the Afghan side on issues concerning China's core interests and stands firmly for Afghanistan's efforts to safeguard independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese side will work with the Afghan side to implement consensus reached by President Ghani with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang last year, and move forward the strategic partnership of cooperation. The two sides should maintain high-level meetings and exchanges at different levels, so as to build up mutual understanding and trust. Efforts shall be made to carry forward cooperation programs on development, promote cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure and other areas, and jointly build the Belt and Road. The two countries shall have closer cooperation to fight against terrorism and enhance defense security, increase personnel training and exchanges and take the year of friendly cooperation as an opportunity to bring closer people of the two countries. There shall be more international and regional coordination on Afghanistan-related affairs, and the international community should give more support and assistance to Afghanistan.

Li Yuanchao said that the Chinese side supports the "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace and reconciliation process and stands ready to play a constructive role and provides necessary support and convenience to that end.

President Ghani thanked President Xi Jinping for the oral message, commended China's strong backing for Afghanistan's disaster relief efforts, and spoke highly of China's support in Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process. Ghani said that China has long been a steadfast friend who offers enormous help to Afghanistan. Afghanistan hopes to draw upon China's successful experience of reform and opening-up, seize the important opportunity brought by the Belt and Road, deepen and expand cooperation with China, translate Afghanistan's potential into concrete results so as to benefit Afghan people with economic and social development. The Afghan side is willing to cooperate with China in infrastructure, industrial parks, energy and other areas, step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and fight side by side against terrorism.

After the talks, Li Yuanchao and Ghani witnessed the signing of an economic and technical cooperation agreement for China to provide 500 million yuan of grants to Afghanistan. It will be used for affordable housing in Afghanistan to improve people's livelihood.

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