Afghan diplomat looks to China for greater regional security
Updated: 2016-04-29 14:09
By Wang Qingyun(chinadaily.com.cn)
Afghanistan wants to benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative and to provide connectivity between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, said an Afghan diplomat on Thursday.
"We want to make sure that we are part of this (initiative)," said Hekmat Khalil Karzai, deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan, who was in Beijing attending the fifth foreign ministers' meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures.
"We want to make sure the infrastructure, the logistics and everything else is looked after and dealt with so (the countries in) the region can further connect to one another," he said.
He emphasized that regional security is an issue that needs to be addressed for the initiative to be successful, and said his government looks to China to offer more support in improving the security of his country.
"Various different militant groups", including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a terrorist group targeting China, he said, are operating in Afghanistan.
"An investment in Afghanistan now is an investment in the security of China," Karzai said.
China and Afghanistan have started to strengthen exchanges and cooperation to cope with the threat of terrorism.
On Feb 29, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met in Kabul with Fang Fenghui, member of China's Central Military Commission and chief of the Joint Staff Department under the CMC.
Ghani was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying that the ETIM is an enemy of both Afghanistan and China, and that he hoped to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism.
On April 20 in Beijing, Fang met with Mohammad Hanif Atmar, national security advisor to the Afghan president, saying that China hopes to strengthen cooperation between the two countries' militaries in fields including counter-terrorism intelligence and joint drills.