China, Afghanistan pledge closer cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative
China and Afghanistan today pledged to cooperate with each other within the framework of the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative.
The two sides agreed for bilateral cooperation after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Afghan counterpart, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.
Afghanistan has promised full cooperation to China on its Belt and Road initiative though its close friend India has refused to join the ambitious Chinese project.
Hailing the good momentum of bilateral ties, Xi said that high-level interaction should play an important role in guiding China-Afghanistan relations and that exchanges on all levels should be intensified.
The Chinese President also called for closer cooperation on security and anti-terrorism, saying that China supports Afghanistan's efforts to maintain domestic security and will continue helping the Afghan side to improve relevant capabilities.
For his part, Ghani said Afghanistan cherishes the friendship with China, and is grateful for China's help in its peaceful reconstruction and reconciliation process.
Afghanistan is highly appreciative of the B&R Initiative and looks forward to aligning its own development with the B&R construction, Ghani said, adding that his country will actively participate in cooperation on transport connectivity.
(With IANS inputs)