KABUL - President Hamid Karzai, who met his Chinese counterpart in Shanghai, said on Monday that Afghanistan was willing to make joint efforts with China to combat terrorism and transnational crime.
Karzai met Xi Jinping in the afternoon, with both sides discussing bilateral relations, the Afghan peace process, joint efforts at countering terrorism and extremism, promoting trade and cooperation in various fields.
The Chinese president backed Afghanistan's efforts to maintain its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Karzai is in China to attend the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia slated for Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai.
Reiterating China's friendly policy toward Afghanistan, Xi told Karzai China remained a reliable friend of his country despite changes in the international and regional situation.
"We are ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Afghanistan, step up cooperation in various areas and offer aid to the country's reconstruction of peace," Xi said.
He vowed joint efforts with Afghanistan to facilitate the construction of a Silk Road economic belt, adding China supported its companies to invest in Afghanistan, urging Afghan government to take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and organizations.
He vowed to enhance cooperation with Afghanistan in preventing and fighting the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism.
"China hopes to see a unified, stable, developing and friendly Afghanistan," Xi said, vowing support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation process.
"We respect the Afghan people's choice, and hope the ongoing presidential elections will be a new starting point for the country's peaceful transition, solidarity and stability," Xi said.
The Fourth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan is slated for August in China's Tianjin Municipality, the first to be held in China.
Xi said China hopes to carry out close cooperation with Afghanistan and the international community to ensure the success of the meeting.
The Chinese president also vowed to promote a greater role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the issue of Afghanistan.
Xi praised the important contribution Karzai has made in promoting bilateral ties, and welcomed him to pay more visits to China and continue his positive role in facilitating Sino-Afghan relations.
For his part, Karzai hailed the brotherhood of both countries and called China a reliable neighbour. “Afghanistan appreciates China's valuable support for the country's peaceful reconstruction,” he said.
He said Afghanistan was committed to developing close good-neighbourly ties with China no matter which candidate wins the election.
He said he expected China's continued help for stability, reconciliation and development in Afghanistan, as well as for training Afghan personnel in various fields. “Afghanistan is willing to make joint efforts with China to combat terrorism and transnational crimes,” he added.
Xi expressed condolences and sympathy to Karzai over the fatal landslide earlier this month that brought huge casualties to the country. Xi vowed to offer additional assistance for reconstruction
Earlier the Chinese government announced it will offer 10 million yuan (1.62 million US dollars) in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)