Kabul, Beijing to talk US military presence
BEIJING (PAN): President Hamid Karzai will discuss with Chinese leaders a US military presence in his country after 2014, when the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission is scheduled to end, a source said on Friday.
A member of the visiting Afghan delegation confided to Pajhwok Afghan News Karzai, who arrived in Beijing at the head of a high-level delegation after attending the Europe-Asia Economic Forum in Xian on Thursday, would meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
A future American military presence in Afghanistan would be high on the agenda for the meetings, revealed the source, requesting not to be named. Karzai would seek Chinese leaders’ opinion on the issue of great sensitivity to regional countries, he said.
The two sides would also confer in detail on the ongoing Afghan-led reconciliation process and recent development in this regard, according to the Afghan official, who did not want to be named.
Afghanistan and China are to sign four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on bilateral cooperation in different fields, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said a day earlier.
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 Faizi are accompanying Karzai.
On Thursday, Karzai met Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang on the sidelines of the Euro-Asia Economic Forum. Wang said China attached great importance to its ties with Afghanistan and would continue to support the country's peace and reconstruction process.
"China will strengthen economic and trade cooperation with Afghanistan to achieve win-win results and advance the strategic partnership between the allies," he promised.
For his part, Karzai hailed China as a good neighbour, saying his country was ready to learn from Beijing’s experience of economic development.
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