Talks in Beijing point way ahead for Afghans

Updated: 2014-11-03 14:36

By Zhang Yunbi(China Daily USA)

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Top diplomats highlighted the fight against terrorism as a top task for Afghanistan after an international conference in Beijing agreed dozens of concrete measures on Friday to lift the war-torn country out of turmoil.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Afghan counterpart, Zarar Ahmad Osmani, confirmed that 64 priority programs were approved by the contracting parties of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.

Ranging from boosting commerce and investment to disaster control and education, the programs "will help Afghanistan boost its capacity in regard to national governance, independent development, social security and defense affairs", Wang said.

The Istanbul Process was accepted in Turkey in November 2011 by China, Russia, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

Wang said at a briefing after the meeting that the programs will facilitate Afghanistan "exploring its own path." All of them are tangible because they will be implemented by specific parties "with guaranteed supports in place".

Talks in Beijing point way ahead for Afghans

Osmani said the confidence-building measures are creating "a very enabling circumstance" for boosting mutual trust among regional stakeholders and outsiders.

Kabul "places a high hope upon the future development in anti-terrorism and anti-corruption" in the country and it appreciates China for hosting the fourth meeting on Afghanistan, Osmani said.

Pakistan will host the fifth meeting, and Afghanistan looks forward to more progress, Osmani said.

When asked about Beijing's vision for boosting its contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan in the wake of the massive NATO pullout from the country this year, Wang called the domestic reconciliation process in the country "a new opportunity" and urged all parties within the country, including the Taliban, to "take the chance, make resolute decisions, bury past feuds and join in the process".

Osmani underscored the Afghan government's capability and readiness to provide security with data showing that there are now 350,000 personnel serving in the security forces.

Currently 90 percent of the country is under the control of those forces, and all areas will be covered by the government in the next few years, Osmani said.

China's participation in the rebuilding of Afghanistan is multidimensional, beyond mere funding, and includes efforts to improve the security apparatus of the government, Wang said.

(China Daily USA 11/03/2014 page4)