Afghanistan seeks active Beijing role
Updated: 2013-09-28 00:17
By LI XIAOKUN (China Daily)
Afghanistan expects China to take an active role in seeking peace and stability in the war-torn country, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday.
Karzai's China visit came as his country is to face military, political and economic transition next year, prominently featured by the withdrawal of US and NATO troops and presidential elections.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai smiles as children wave the national flags and flowers at a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Karzai was in Beijing for talks on bilateral cooperation with top Chinese leaders. Xu Jingxing / China Daily
Calling China a "friendly and reliable"neighbor, Karzai said his country "expects China to continue taking a constructive role in realizing peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and in improving Afghanistan's relations with its neighboring countries", according to a Chinese version of a news release issued by the Foreign Ministry.
Recently, Afghanistan has repeatedly welcomed China's involvement in its peace process.
"This is our desire and we have wished it many times that China should play a role in the peace process of Afghanistan. We certainly would welcome it,"Abdul Karim Khuram, chief of staff of the Afghan President's Office, told Xinhua News Agency earlier this month.
Khuram said that because China has good relations with Pakistan, it could exert some diplomatic efforts to invite Pakistan to work hand-in-hand with Afghanistan in pushing for the peace process.
Khuram made the remarks after efforts for talks with Taliban militants and achieving national reconciliation made little progress over the past years.
Afghan officials believe Taliban militants have been using Pakistan as a jumping-off point in their attacks in Afghanistan, a claim that has been strongly denied by Islamabad.
Afghan Foreign Minister Zulmai Rasoul also told his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York that China can be actively involved in Afghanistan's transition process next year.
He appreciates China for giving a helping hand when his country was faced with a hard situation.
Xi told Karzai on Friday that China is willing to make contributions to peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and the region.
Premier Li Keqiang also told Karzai earlier on Friday that China will provide help within its reach to Afghanistan.
"China sincerely expects Afghanistan to realize lasting peace and stability,"Li said.
Karzai arrived in China on Wednesday for a four-day official visit, leading a high-level delegation.
Zhang Fan and Xinhua contributed to this story.