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China to give Afghanistan $23.8m this year

China to give Afghanistan $23.8m this year

Jun 08, 2012 - 14:32

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on Friday signed a joint declaration between their countries on establishing a strategic cooperation partnership.

In the declaration, China promised a 150 million yuan (23.8 million US dollars) grant to the Afghan government during the current year, President Karzai’s office said.

Karzai is in Beijing, where attended the two-day 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit that concluded on Thursday. SCO accepted Afghanistaninfo-icon as an observer state.

During formal talks, Hu and Karzai agreed on exploring new ways of expanding bilateral trade and investment and deepening the existing Sino-Afghan economic cooperation.

Hu promised that China would continue to provide sincere and selfless help to Afghanistan as it entered a critical transition period. The bulk of the 130,000 NATOinfo-icon-led troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Greater bilateral relations would be pursued on the basis of a 2006 agreement between China and Afghanistan on trade and economic cooperation, the declaration said.

The two sides also agreed to continually strengthen collaboration in the fields of natural resources and energy development, infrastructure, engineering and agricultureinfo-icon.

Renewing its support for a peaceful reconstructioninfo-icon process in Afghanistan, China pledged all possible assistance to the war-torn country.

Beijing vowed to continue encouraging Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction and development of Afghanistan.

The document added: "The Afghan side appreciated China's selfless assistance for peace and reconstruction over the years, and thanked the Chinese side for the new pledge of assistance."

Foreign ministries of the two countries have been tasked with working on the draft strategic cooperation pact, which would pose no threat to a third country. The deal will be in line with the UN Charter and international law.

“The two sides expressed strong rejection of all forms of terrorism, extremism, separatism and organised crime,” the joint statement said.

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