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Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei Attends International Conference on Afghanistan

2009/04/01

An international conference on Afghanistan co-sponsored by the United Nations, Afghanistan and the Netherlands was held in Hague, the Netherlands, on March 31, 2009. Senior officials from over 80 countries and international organizations including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the conference. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende attended and addressed the conference. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei led a Chinese delegation to the meeting and delivered a speech.

Wu said it is a common aspiration of the whole Afghan people and the international community to realize political stability, social progress, economic growth and improvement of people's livelihood in Afghanistan. To finally achieve these goals, the international community needs to work together with Afghanistan to coordinate and take comprehensive measures based on respect of Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The Chinese side strongly supports the endeavor to combat terrorism in all manifestations. At the same time, we maintain that counter-terrorism efforts should be made to address both the symptoms and the root causes. Efforts should be made to eliminate the hotbed of terrorism through peaceful development," Wu told the conference. The international community should continue supporting Afghanistan to implement its National Development Strategy. "We call on the international community to provide financial and security assistance and create favorable conditions for steady and smooth presidential elections in the country," he said. China hopes the United Nations will continue to play a leading role in coordinating international assistance efforts for Afghanistan. China, as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, favors an active role of the organization in Afghanistan, he said.

Wu said China, as a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, has always been committed to developing good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with Afghanistan based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence. Since the founding of the new Afghan government, the Chinese government has actively participated in Afghanistan's reconstruction process through various channels and offered aid within its ability. The Chinese government will provide 75 million U.S. dollars of aid to Afghanistan in the next five years and will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to take part in Afghan reconstruction, he added.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Wu also met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as foreign ministers and representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, the United States, Iran, India and Romania, exchanging views with them on Afghanistan and other issues of common concern.

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