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China vows support for Afghanistan’s reconciliation

Updated: May 16,2016 6:59 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China vowed further support for Afghanistan’s political reconciliation process and national construction during an official visit by Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Premier Li Keqiang made the remarks while holding talks with Abdullah at the Great Hall of the People on May 16.

Calling Afghanistan a priority in China’s neighborhood diplomacy, Premier Li said China is committed to consolidating and developing bilateral strategic cooperative partnership and supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to safeguard its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.

Premier Li praised Afghanistan’s firm support on issues related to China’s core interests. China is willing to work with Afghanistan to deepen bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, security, and culture as well as in international and regional affairs.

Premier Li said China is willing to help Afghanistan map out a national infrastructure construction plan and implement investment cooperation projects the two sides had agreed on.

China will also support its enterprises to cooperate with Afghanistan in industrial capacity, strengthen interconnectivity in information industry, enhance cooperation in agriculture, education and between localities, and help Afghanistan train talent for social and economic development, the Premier said.

He added that China backs the Afghan government’s continued efforts to advance the inclusive “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” political reconciliation process and supports the country in participating in regional cooperation. Premier Li also called on Afghanistan to continue to take effective measures to create a secure environment for bilateral cooperation.

Abdullah said China is an important neighbor and friend, and Afghanistan attaches great importance to development of bilateral relations. He reaffirmed support to China on issues concerning its core and major interests, and thanked China for its long-term assistance to Afghanistan’s national reconciliation and economic reconstruction.

Abdullah welcomed Chinese companies to increase investment in his country. He said Afghanistan is willing to further expand bilateral cooperation in areas including infrastructure construction, housing assurance, mineral resource exploitation, information and telecommunications, agriculture, education, defense, and regional interconnectivity.

He pledged to provide security assurance for bilateral economic cooperation.

After the talks, the two sides signed deals on cooperation in economy, technology, interconnectivity and trade.