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China, UK vow to support Afghanistan

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi agree long term commitment to future security and stability in Afghanistan.

In a statement posted on its website, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at UK said that Beijing and London remain committed to their long term support for the government of Afghanistan and its people.

“The future security and stability of Afghanistan is of vital concern to us, and we will continue to work closely together and with the international community to achieve a prosperous future for Afghanistan,” the Chinese official and the UK foreign secretary said in a joint statement.

The UK and China reaffirmed their commitment to support an Afghan owned and Afghan led political settlement to the Afghan conflict. “As members of the P5 we continue to support international efforts to assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in bringing safety and security to Afghanistan. Both sides express sympathy with the Afghan victims of the conflict and remain deeply concerned by the increasing rates of civilian casualties. The two countries pay tribute to the effort and sacrifices of the international community, including UN-mandated international security forces, for the peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Both sides, along with the government of Afghanistan, agreed to establish trilateral cooperation. “On infrastructure development, we plan to bring together Afghan, British and Chinese expertise to support development of Afghan institutions and improve delivery of much-needed infrastructure,” said the statement.

The two officials said that China and UK would continue to work with each other and Afghanistan’s regional partners, including the Heart of Asia – Istanbul process, to help develop the economy, improve the security situation and implement the ambitious reform program being led by the Afghan government.

“We will also work closely together to prevent the flow of weapons and support to all terrorist, violent and extremist groups. The UK and China condemn the terrorist acts against civilians, diplomatic missions and humanitarian and development workers. Such attacks are against the interests of Afghanistan and its people. Both our countries face threats from terrorism and have a shared interest in helping the Government of Afghanistan deal with the threat of international terrorists operating within its borders,” the statement said.

The two countries also recognize that humanitarian needs in Afghanistan are increasing. In particular, the rising numbers of internally displaced persons and Afghans returning from Pakistan and Iran will require immediate humanitarian assistance, as well as longer-term development support to integrate effectively. The UK and China vowed to work with humanitarian agencies to meet urgent, life-saving needs of the most vulnerable across Afghanistan.