KABUL: Cooperation between Afghan and Chinese armed forces can immensely contribute to the security both countriesand creating an enabling environment for development,the Chinese defence minister hopes.
At a meeting with visiting Afghan army chief of general staff Qadam Shah Shaheem in Beijing late on Sunday, Chang Wanquan praised Kabul’s support in fighting against extremists based in Xinjiang.
Beijing has long been concerned that instability in Afghanistan will spill over into Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uygur community. Hundreds have died in recent years in unrest blamed on the Islamist extremists.
“I thank Afghanistan for its valuable support in combating ETIM terrorist forces and on issues related to China’s core interests,” Wanquan was quoted as saying by Xinhua, the state-run news agency.
He hoped the two militaries could continually enrich the shape and content of cooperation and make greater contributions to safeguarding bilateral security and creating an environment conducive for development.
For his part, Shaheem said Afghanistan was ready to continue fighting against ETIM by strengthening cooperation on personnel training, joint military drills and in other areas, China’s defence ministry said.
Being a member of a four-nation group, China is working together with Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US to broker peace talks to end the Taliban insurgency in the war-devastated country. -Pajhwok
THE PASHTUN TIMES