Afghan Se­nate chair­man sees China’s role as vi­tal in achiev­ing re­gional peace

Global Times - Weekend - - ASIAN REVIEW - The ar­ti­cle is from the Xin­hua News Agency. opin­ion@ glob­al­

Afghanistan’s Se­nate Chair­man Fazal Hadi Mus­lim­yar de­scribed the role of China as very im­por­tant in push­ing the Afghan peace process and mak­ing a suc­cess of na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

China as a world power, as a well-re­spected coun­try in the re­gion and as a good neigh­bor of Afghanistan and Pak­istan can play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the Afghanistan peace process and I am sure its role is vi­tal, Mus­lim­yar said.

Mus­lim­yar, who vis­ited China to at­tend the Sixth China-Eura­sia Expo in Urumqi, North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in early Septem­ber, also de­scribed China as a good friend of Afghanistan and said that Afghans are look­ing to­ward get­ting help from China, above all in achiev­ing peace and se­cu­rity.

“Afghans have been suf­fer­ing due to the lin­ger­ing war over the past 40 years, there­fore, above all we need se­cu­rity,” said the Se­nate chair­man, say­ing Afghans are hope­ful that China as a friendly neigh­bor could play its role in end­ing the con­flict, achiev­ing peace, en­hanc­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, ac­ti­vat­ing the Wakhan Cor­ri­dor and im­prov­ing Afghanistan’s roads and trans­port sys­tem.

De­scrib­ing his meet­ings with Chi­nese of­fi­cials as “very fruit­ful,” Mus­lim­yar said his talks with Chi­nese dig­ni­taries had cov­ered a va­ri­ety of is­sues of com­mon con­cern in­clud­ing Afghan peace process, the mega project of the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Afghanistan and ter­ror­ist threats.

The year 2018 marks the fifth an­niver­sary since the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive was first put for­ward in 2013, and Mus­lim­yar said more and more peo­ple in Afghanistan wanted to take ad­van­tage of this ini­tia­tive to ex­pand ex­changes at all lev­els with China.

“China has in­cluded Afghanistan into the mega project of the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive,” Mus­lim­yar said. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project ex­pands con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion and ul­ti­mately strength­ens re­gional peace and pros­per­ity, he noted.

“Afghan saf­fron has al­ready found its place in Chi­nese mar­kets and we have reached an agree­ment that Afghan pine nuts would also be ex­ported to China,” he said.

Afghanistan also hopes to ex­port dry fruits, semi-pre­cious and pre­cious stones and car­pets to China in the fu­ture, the sen­a­tor said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mus­lim­yar, the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive has of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties to coun­tries in Asia for shared ben­e­fits, and has pro­moted in­fra­struc­ture, con­nec­tiv­ity, trade and tran­sit in the re­gion.

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