01:34 GMT28 February 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China's army is ready to strengthen relations with Afghanistan's military and to enhance cooperation in the spheres of military exchanges and counter-terrorism, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Gen Xu Qiliang said Wednesday.

    "China’s armed forces are ready to cooperate with the Afghan army…, and to continuously increase pragmatic cooperation in the field of military exchanges and counter-terrorism," Xu said during a meeting with Afghanistan’s Acting Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami, as quoted by the Chinese Defense Ministry in WeChat social network.

    He added that the joint maintenance of peace and stability in Afghanistan and China, as well as in the whole region, would benefit residents of both countries and advance the development of the bilateral strategic partnership.

    In his turn, Tariq Shah Bahram said that Afghanistan attached great importance to relations between the armed forces of the two countries, and was willing to work with China on strengthening cooperation in various spheres, including in the fight against terrorism, in order to develop the two armies' relations.

    The statement the recently outlined Beijing's position, striving, together with Islamabad, to end ongoing Afghanistan's fight with terror group's insurgency, fully supporting the country's peace talks with Taliban terror group (banned in Russia) and providing necessary assistance to the peace settlement.

    READ MORE: Afghanistan to Unveil Program of Peace Talks With Taliban Soon — Beijing

    During a trilateral meeting between foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, held in Beijing a day before, Beijing and Islamabad have reaffirmed their commitment to an "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" peace process, emphasizing the need to use all of the countries' forces and resources to support a political process of reconciliation that must finally end the Taliban-led violence in the country.

    READ MORE: Fight Against Terrorism 'Must Come From Within Muslim Communities,' Analyst Says

    Afghanistan's intention to start peace talks with the insurgent group has been voiced by the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai during the meeting of the International Contact Group for Afghanistan in Oslo earlier in December. The diplomat has explained that Kabul was planning to elaborate a roadmap for the launch of a peace dialogue with Taliban.

    The stance echoed the country's National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar's statements, who had called on Russia to persuade Taliban militants to sit at the negotiating table.

    READ MORE: Moscow Wants Kabul to Engage in Constructive Dialogue With Armed Opposition

    anti-terror fight, Taliban, Afghanistan, China
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