BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday that smooth completion of Afghanistan's presidential election will help the nation realize peace, stability and development.
Hong made the remarks at a routine press briefing when asked to comment on Afghanistan's presidential election.
Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was in the lead when the Afghan presidential Election Committee announced preliminary results on Monday. Contender Abdullah Abdullah accused the Election Commission of fraud, saying no decision of the Election Commission is acceptable unless the clean votes are filtered from the fake ones. Abdullah claimed victory on Tuesday.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) acknowledged that vote rigging had occurred and said ballots from about 7,000 of the nearly 23,000 polling stations would be audited.
Hong said China has taken note of the preliminary results as well as the IEC decision to listen to complaints.
China hopes all parties will resolve their differences through dialogue and complete the election on schedule, he said.
China has always supported and actively participated in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and will work with international society for the early realization of the goal of "Afghanistan run by the Afghans," he said.
China will help in building an Afghanistan of unity, stability, development and amiability, he added.
Hong also announced that the senior officials' meeting of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan will be held in Beijing on July 10. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi will chair the meeting. Representatives from 42 member states and supporting parties will attend.
The meeting will prepare for the Fourth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, to be held in in Tianjin in August.
The meeting will discuss a draft of the outcome document of the ministerial conference, confidence-building measures within the process and the current situation in Afghanistan.
In November 2011, Afghanistan's neighbors and near-neighbors gathered in Turkey and reached an agreement known as the Istanbul Process, presenting a new vision for regional cooperation and promoting a stronger and sustainable economic future.
The 14 members include Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, and 28 supporting parties include the United States, Britain, the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.