BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- China and Afghanistan have pledged to jointly build the Belt and Road in order to benefit the two countries and beyond.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Mohammed Haneef Atmar made the pledge in a phone conversation on Monday, with both sides expressing willingness to strengthen their ties.
Afghanistan admires China's progress in combating the COVID-19 epidemic and appreciates China's generous aid of medical supplies and sharing of experience in fighting the disease, Atmar said, adding Afghanistan will strive to protect Chinese nationals in the country.
The Belt and Road Initiative has received a strong response from Afghanistan and benefited the two countries and other regional countries, Atmar said.
Afghanistan is committed to jointly building the Belt and Road with China and lifting their strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, he added.
Afghanistan stays committed to promoting its peace and reconciliation process and has formulated programs over a comprehensive ceasefire and the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, Atmar said.
Afghanistan highly values China's constructive role and expects China to continuously work with other regional countries to push Taliban to reach a consensus with the Afghan government at an early date, he said.
Afghanistan also devotes itself to trilateral cooperation with China and Pakistan, and hopes that China will continue to help Kabul to improve its relationship with Islamabad, Atmar said.
For his part, Wang said China and Afghanistan have a tradition of understanding, trusting and supporting each other.
As Afghanistan's neighbor and strategic cooperative partner, China will not be absent when Afghanistan is facing difficulty and will extend a helping hand without hesitation, Wang said.
China has provided a batch of urgently needed anti-epidemic supplies to Afghanistan and stands ready to offer as much help as it can on the basis of Afghanistan's needs, Wang added.
"We will continue to take care of Afghan nationals in China and believe that the Afghan government will ensure the safety and health of Chinese citizens in Afghanistan," Wang said.
Noting that this year marks the 65th anniversary of China-Afghanistan diplomatic relations, Wang said China is willing to work with Afghanistan to deepen joint construction of the Belt and Road and advance bilateral cooperation in various fields in order to jointly benefit the two countries and two peoples.
The Chinese side supports the positive proposal made by the Afghan government about its country's peace and reconciliation process, hoping that all parties involved in the process would strengthen confidence, keep patient and reach a political consensus at an early date, Wang said.
The political arrangement for Afghanistan's future should have broad representation, unswervingly stick to counter-terrorism and follow a foreign policy of peace and friendship, Wang said.
As a neighbor and friend of Afghanistan, China always respects Afghan people's choice of their own path of development, and stands ready to continue to support, mediate and facilitate the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, as well as play its constructive role, he added.
Wang said China is more willing than anyone to see Afghanistan and Pakistan build a harmonious relationship.
The Chinese side will proactively make any efforts that are conducive to enhancing mutual trust and improving relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Wang said, adding that China is ready to hold trilateral foreign ministers' dialogues at an appropriate time to push forward their cooperation. Enditem