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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan, Stressing to Promote China-Afghanistan Strategic Cooperative Partnership to Another New High

On the afternoon of May 16, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan, who was paying an official visit to China.

Li Keqiang stated that China and Afghanistan are close neighbors with long historical course of friendly exchanges. Regarding Afghanistan a priority in China's neighborhood diplomacy, China is committed to consolidating and developing China-Afghanistan strategic cooperative partnership and supporting Afghanistan's efforts in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security. China appreciates Afghanistan's firm support on issues related to China's core and major interests, and is willing to work with Afghanistan to deepen bilateral exchanges and cooperation in politics, economy, security, people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as in international and regional affairs, so as to promote bilateral relations to another new high and make new contributions to regional peace, stability and development.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China and Afghanistan enjoy huge potential in mutually beneficial cooperation in infrastructure construction, resource exploitation and other areas. China is willing to help Afghanistan map out a national infrastructure construction plan, identify priority areas for bilateral cooperation and implement investment cooperation projects that the two sides had agreed on. China will also support its enterprises to cooperate with Afghanistan in production capacity through flexible and diverse approaches, strengthen connectivity in information industry, enhance cooperation in agriculture, education, local affairs and other areas in accordance with Afghanistan's realistic demands and help Afghanistan train various talents for social and economic development.

Li Keqiang emphasized that Afghanistan is currently at a crucial period of transformation. China supports the efforts of Afghanistan's national unity government in leading the Afghan people to continue to advance the inclusive "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" political reconciliation process and supports the country in deeply participating in regional cooperation. It is hoped that Afghanistan can continue to take effective measures to create a sound and secure environment for bilateral practical cooperation.

Abdullah Abdullah said that China is an important neighbor and friend of Afghanistan. In recent years, Afghanistan and China have maintained frequent high-level exchanges with constantly intensified cooperation in various areas under joint efforts. Attaching great importance to developing its relations with China, Afghanistan supports China's stance on issues concerning its core and major interests, and is grateful to China for its assistance and help to Afghanistan's national reconciliation and economic reconstruction. Afghanistan welcomes Chinese companies to increase investment in the country, and is willing to further expand bilateral cooperation in areas including infrastructure construction, housing assurance, mineral resource exploitation, information and telecommunications, agriculture, education, and defense security so as to promote regional connectivity construction. The Afghan side will do its best in providing security assurance for bilateral economic cooperation.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Abdullah Abdullah at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Xiaoguang and others were present.

After the talks, both sides witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents covering economic technology, connectivity, economy, trade and other areas. Both sides will also issue a joint statement.

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