Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Thursday met with Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government, on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' meetings of Afghanistan's neighboring countries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
Qin said that China always respects Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the independent choice made by the Afghan people. China never interferes in Afghanistan's internal affairs or seeks personal gains in Afghanistan. China firmly supports the Afghan interim 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. It is hoped that Afghanistan positively responds to the concerns of its neighbors and further build up consensus among them on helping with Afghanistan's reconstruction and development.
Qin stressed 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 expressed the hope that Afghanistan fulfills its 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.
For his part, Muttaqi thanked China for its long-term political support to Afghanistan. He said Afghan Taliban appreciates and welcomes China's release of the position paper on Afghanistan, respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, understands China's security concerns, will never allow any forces to use Afghan territory to harm China's national interests, and will spare no efforts to protect the safety of Chinese institutions and citizens in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, he expressed the hope to take an active part in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
He congratulated China on successfully facilitating the historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which demonstrates China's global influence and sense of responsibility as a major country.