Afghanistan interested in Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank membership: Ghani

GhaniKABUL: Calling China a trusted friend, President Ashraf Ghani has evinced Afghanistan’s interest in getting membership of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

At a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Tashkent, he said Afghanistan was ready for cooperation in areas of economic, business, infrastructure, security and human resource development.

Afghanistan is interested in AIIB membership and benefitting from its vast experience in building road and infrastructure projects, Ghani said.

The president hailed China as a reliable friend of Afghanistan and praised its continued cooperation with the Afghan peace process.

President Xi Jinping supported greater partnership with Afghanistan’s and said China wanted to increase bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan in the fields of economy, trade, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and human resources.

He stressed the two countries should step up cooperation in fighting terrorism.Jinping said his country was supporting the Afghan peace process, which must be inclusive and Afghan-led.

Ghani also met Kyrgyz PresidentAlmazbekAtambayev, who supported Afghanistan’s membership of SCO and said his country was interested in further improving bilateral cooperation.

Ways of connecting the neighbours through a railway line figured at the meeting, as both called the CASA-1000 project important to the entire region.

Under CASA-1000, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will sell 1300 megawatts of electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan (300MW to Afghanistan and 1000 MW to Pakistan.)

Pakistan will pay Afghanistan transit fee besides $40 million in annual tax, which would contribute to increasing Afghanistan’s revenue. -Pajhwok

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