Video: China plays significant role in Afghan peace process, says former president Karzai

Reuters
Beijing, China Published: Dec 24, 2018, 04:39 PM(IST)

China plays significant role in Afghan peace process: former president Photograph:( Reuters )

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Afghan president Hamid Karzai made the remarks during a recent interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) in south China's Guangzhou City.

China plays a significant and influential role in Afghanistan's peace process as a good neighbour and world superpower, according to the former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Karzai made the remarks during a recent interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) in south China's Guangzhou City, where he was attending the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum earlier this month.

The peace process in Afghanistan has recently come back into focus after the United States said it is considering a substantial reduction of US troops in Afghanistan, with US President Donald Trump last week dramatically calling for the withdrawal of troops from Syria.

Referring to the recent US-led peace initiative, which saw meetings with the Qatar-based leaders of the Taliban earlier this year, Karzai said he hopes these efforts will succeed and expects some major countries in the region to take parts, such as China and Russia.

"Just recently the United States has launched a new initiative for peace in Afghanistan and we hope it succeeds. But the latest US initiative for peace in Afghanistan will bear fruits only when they fully keep the Afghan people on board, and in charge. And when they genuinely see corporation from major powers who are our neighbours. China for example, is our neighbour, and a superpower in the world. Russia, in the same way, and our neighbours as well. Therefore, a successful US effort for peace will mean Afghanistan doing its part fully and independently and the US seeking the corporation of China. That will bring us peace and I'm sure that if the US extends its hands of corporation to China, China will support it and Russia will support it as well," said Karzai.

Aside from the peace process within Afghanistan, Karzai, who had a 13-year tenure as Afghanistan's leader, thinks China can also play a constructive role in ensuring regional stability by improving the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"China and Pakistan being always friends, we see it as a positive, we see it as good. We want China's friendship with Pakistan to expand, to deepen. We are also a great friend of China and a good neighbour of China. And China has been a tremendous ally and supporter to Afghanistan as well. Therefore, Chinese friendship with Pakistan, we see, as an asset towards positive. And we, for this reason, have been seeking China's participation and contribution to improving relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and together all the two of us, effectively fight against extremists," said the former president.

Karzai also shared his views about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which he believes is an effective platform for promoting wider corporation within the region.

"The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an effective instrument for stability and corporation in our larger region. And we're glad that all the three major powers of the region — China, Russia, India, are part of it. So is Pakistan, so are countries of central Asia — Turkey as well and Iran. And Afghanistan is an observer. So India's joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we see it as a positive development and we hope that through the cooperative working within this organization, Afghanistan will be one of the first beneficiaries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization," he said.

Karzai was speaking on the sidelines of the Imperial Springs International Forum, which opened in Guangzhou on December 10. The event gathered some 200 former world leaders, renowned scholars and business elites to discuss the theme of advancing reform and opening-up, and promoting win-win cooperation.

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