President Karzai meets Shaanxi governor
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and his delegation landed in Xi'an, the capital of China’s Shaanxi province on Wednesday evening (regional time) on a four-day state visit to discuss with Chinese leadership a range of issues, including enhanced political, military, economic and cultural relations.
Karzai, heading a high-level delegation, was received by the Shaanxi deputy governor and Afghan Ambassador to China Mohammad Kabir Farahi at the airport, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
The Afghan leader met Shaanxi Governor Lou Qinjian at his residence, with the later welcoming Karzai's visit to the province as a matter of pride for him. The governor said Sino-Afghan ties had considerably grown over the past decade.
Appreciating the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him, the president called China a close neighbour. "We want to further strengthen our friendship with the neighbour."
He also praised the beauty and greenery of Shaanxi, saying the province could serve as a good model for the Afghans in rebuilding their homeland, according to the statement. The president lauded China's generous assistance to his country,
He will attend the opening ceremony of the Euro-Asia Economic Forum (EAEF) 2013, where he will deliver a speech.
National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister of Mines and Petroleum Wahidullah Shahrani, President Advisor in International Affairs Yahya Marufi, Abdul Karim Khuram, chief of staff of the president's office, and the chief presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi are accompanying Karzai.
During the visit, both sides will sign two memoranda of understanding on financial assistance to Afghanistan, extradition of prisoners and cooperation between Kabul and the Xi'an University of China.
Karzai would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other host leaders during his second trip to China in as many years, the statement added.
He is expected to urge Beijing to help train and equip Afghan security forces, invest in the war-torn country, step up the development of the Ainak Copper Project in Logar province and discuss China's interest in exploring fuel and gas at the Amu River base.
The President Palace said currently 70 Afghan military officials were under training in China and up to 45 police officers being trained on fighting drugs and riots. It said the number of officers would reach 250 by 2015.
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