Beijing respects Kabul’s stance on BSA
KABUL (Pajhwok): Beijing on Saturday welcomed Kabul’s position on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), saying that Afghan-American relations should be based on sovereign equality.
Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Afghan counterpart Zarar Ahmad Osmani discussed Beijing’s assistance to Kabul, BSA, security transition, elections, the peace process and the pullout of foreign forces.
At a joint press conference with Osmani after their meeting in Kabul, Wang Yi said that China respected Afghanistan’s decision on the security pact. “We hope the strengthening of relations between the US and Afghanistan respects Kabul’s sovereignty and independence.”
Osmani said that discussions on the security pact were ongoing with the US. “We hope the talks will yield positive result and the BSA will be signed,” he added, ruling out any change in the text.
But President Karzai says if his conditions for the launch of talks with the Taliban and an end to raids on civilian houses are not met, the deal will not be concluded.
A day earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said there was no progress in signing the agreement. “I believe President Karzai won’t sign the BSA and his successor will think about it.”
The Chinese minister promised his country would continue to support Afghanistan and the growth of the bilateral relationship would not be affected by any foreign factor.
There was no political expediency behind cooperation between the neighbours, he explained, saying: “We want a united, stable and independent Afghanistan.”
Stability in Afghanistan was in the interest of the entire region, including China, he argued. “We want reconciliation in Afghanistan and will continue to support the process. “We hope to see broad-based and inclusive reconciliation in Afghanistan, and China will play a constructive role in that.”
A MoU on technical cooperation in the agriculture sector was also signed between the deputy foreign minister and the China ambassador during the meeting.
“Afghan forces could maintain security without support from foreign troops, but they need more equipment and training. We have asked China for support in this regard,” Osmani said.
In response, Wang said China -- a regional economic giant -- would continue to train and equip Afghan forces in addition to continued development assistance to the war-devastated country.
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