|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, agreed here Friday to further advance the relations between their countries.
The two leaders are in this Russian resort city for the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.
China, Xi said, attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan, and stands ready to maintain high-level exchanges and promote communication and cooperation between them, so as to push forward the development of bilateral ties.
China is willing to offer continued assistance for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction, especially in personnel training, and encourage Chinese companies to invest in Afghanistan, he said, while urging Kabul to create a safe environment for bilateral cooperation.
China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan in fighting the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism as well as transnational crime, Xi added.
China, he stressed, will unswervingly support Afghanistan's efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and back an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation process.
Noting that 2014 is a critical year in Afghanistan's transition, he conveyed the hope that Afghanistan will hold smooth presidential elections, achieve a stable transition and realize lasting stability and prosperity.
The fate of Afghanistan will be more closely linked with that of the region after 2014, and China supports Afghanistan's integration into regional economic cooperation, said the Chinese president.
As China will host the fourth ministerial meeting of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, Beijing is ready to closely cooperate with Kabul to guarantee the success of the event, he added.
China, Xi said, is also ready to push the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to play a bigger role on the Afghan issue.