China ready to deepen cooperation with Afghanistan: Minister

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in a meeting with Taliban’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on the sidelines of the Samarkand meeting said his country supports a moderate and inclusive governance in Afghanistan and is ready to deepen practical cooperation with Afghanistan.

Qin said that China respects Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the independent choice made by the Afghan people.

He said that China firmly supports the Taliban government to exercise inclusive and moderate governance, promote good-neighborly relations, and build Afghanistan into an oasis of peace and a place of development and prosperity on the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Qin said that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council and designated by the Chinese government in accordance with law.

He added that he hopes Taliban authorities will fulfill their commitment to fighting terrorism and earnestly protect the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Afghanistan.

“China is ready to deepen practical cooperation with Afghanistan, implement grant assistance to Afghanistan, advance cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthen governance exchanges, help Afghanistan train professionals, carry out cooperation in drug control and alternative planting, and help Afghanistan enhance its capacity for independent and sustainable development,” Qin said.

Muttaqi said they appreciate China’s release of the position paper on Afghanistan, respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, understand China’s security concerns, and will not allow any forces to use Afghan territory to harm China’s national interests.

He said the Taliban would protect the safety of Chinese institutions and citizens in Afghanistan.

The fourth Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s Neighboring States was held on April 13 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan where foreign ministers and senior officials of China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended.

The participants of the meeting in a joint declaration published by China’s Foreign Ministry said that in a frank and pragmatic atmosphere of mutual understanding, the Parties held a comprehensive, deep and constructive discussion of the current situation in Afghanistan, and the prospects for its development.