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China, Afghanistan to step up security co-op: presidents say

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai during a welcoming ceremony Hu hosts for Karzai at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on June 19, 2006. (Xinhua photo)

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai after they sign a treaty on good-neighborliness and friendliness, in Beijing, capital of China, on June 19, 2006. (Xinhua photo)

    BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The presidents of China and Afghanistan signed a treaty on friendly cooperation here on Monday and pledged to strengthen cooperation on security matters.

The two countries will exert joint efforts to fight the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism as well as transnational crimes, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in talks with his visiting Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai before signing the treaty.

"China will substantially implement the treaty in a bid to substantiate and cement China-Afghanistan all-round cooperative partnership," Hu said.

Hu spoke highly of the progress of China-Afghanistan ties, expressing his appreciation for the Afghan government's emphasis on bilateral relations and its adherence to the one-China policy.

He noted that, with the concerted efforts from both sides, the China-Afghan relations have progressed well since the establishment of the new Afghan government.

"The two sides share frequent high-level exchanges of visits, fruitful cooperation in various fields and good coordination on international and regional issues and we are satisfied with that," Hu added.

Hu reiterated that China respects the social system and development path chosen by the Afghan people and will support the Afghan government's efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, maintain social stability and develop the economy, promising that China will actively participate in the reconstruction process.

Hu said China will expand cooperation with Afghanistan in economy and trade, transportation, telecommunication, agriculture, water resources utilization as well as education, cultural exchanges and human resources development.

"China is also willing to offer intellectual support for Afghanistan's social and economic reconstruction process and improve cooperation on education, culture and human resource development," Hu said.

China values the communication and coordination with Afghanistan in international and regional affairs, and is willing to cooperate within multilateral frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Hu said.

Karzai said that China, an important neighbor of Afghanistan, is playing an important role in Afghanistan's reconstruction.

Afghanistan welcomes Chinese companies to take part in its economic development, and is willing to maintain long-term good-neighborly relations with China, Karzai said.

He also expressed his appreciation for China's firm political support and economic assistance, which have made a major contribution to the country's reconstruction.

The Afghan government will continue to uphold the one-China policy, and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in international and regional affairs and to be a bridge for China's cooperation with central Asian countries, Karzai said.

Karzai arrived in Beijing on Sunday evening, kicking off a four-day state visit.

He is also scheduled to tour northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Enditem

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Editor: Ling Zhu
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