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People's Daily Online

Afghanistan willing to join AIIB: president

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:46, June 24, 2016

TASHKENT, June 24 -- Afghanistan is willing to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and actively participate in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said here on Friday.

Afghanistan stands ready to enhance cooperation with China in economy and trade, infrastructure construction, security, human resources development and other fields, Ghani said at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The two presidents are attending the 16th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent on Thursday and Friday.

For his part, Xi told Ghani that China supports Afghanistan to get involved in regional interconnectivity construction, and is willing to strengthen bilateral cooperation in fields of economy and trade, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and human resources.

Both sides should properly implement the bilateral memorandum of understanding on jointly promoting the Belt and Road construction, said the Chinese president.

China treats Afghanistan as a reliable neighbor and good friend, and is willing to increase bilateral high-level contact and enhance strategic communication, Xi said.

He also called on the two countries to deepen anti-terrorism and security collaboration.

China backs Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and reconciliation process, Xi said, stressing that the only way to realize the country's lasting peace is to push forward a broad-based and inclusive peace process which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

China is ready to actively participate in the international efforts to assist Afghanistan, Xi said, adding that China supports the SCO to play its due role in the Afghanistan issue.

Ghani said that China is a reliable good friend of Afghanistan, stressing that Afghanistan appreciates China's long-term assistance and support for Afghanistan's peaceful reconciliation and national reconstruction.

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