China has affirmed its support for Afghanistan's integration into regional economic cooperation, saying the war-torn country’s fate is closely linked with that of the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, at a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in Russia on Friday, said Beijing wanted to further expand relations with Kabul.
The two leaders were in the Russian resort city of Sochi to attend a grand opening ceremony for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, which got under way yesterday.
China was ready to maintain high-level exchanges and promote cooperation with Afghanistan, the Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.
He said China, scheduled to host the fourth ministerial meeting of the Istanbul Process, would push the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to play a bigger role on the Afghan issue.
He promised Beijing would continue to extend assistance for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction, especially in personnel training, and encourage Chinese companies to invest there.
Xi also offered enhanced cooperation with Afghanistan in the fight against separatism, extremism and terrorism, as well as transnational crime.
Karzai, who will later in a couple of months, hoped the new Afghan president and government would continue to value cooperative relations with China. He also renewed his commitment to pursuing national reconciliation and reconstruction.
Afghanistan, he added, will also maintain friendly relations with its neighboring countries and endeavor to help safeguard regional peace and stability.
In order to achieve the goal of stability, Afghanistan wanted to have better relations with its neighbours, Karzai said, stressing the need for greater regional cooperation on issues of common concern.