Afghan FM says bin Laden's death to aid Afghanistan's peace process

09:59, May 12, 2011      

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Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasoul said in Beijing on Wednesday that the death of Osama bin Laden will make Afghanistan's transition process easier and will promote reconciliatory efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

"The death of the al-Qaida leader means there are fewer threats to the country. Our first assessment is that it might help with reconciliation," Rasoul said during a speech at the China Institute of International Studies, a Chinese government think tank.

The Afghan foreign minister said the elimination of bin Laden was "positive" because the Afghan people had suffered from his actions for years.

NATO countries plan to start pulling their troops out of Afghanistan in July. Afghanistan will have to undergo a transition process as the troops leave the country. The transition process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, according to Rasoul.

Rasoul said the major tasks for the Afghan government in the transition period are to equip and train national security forces, ensure the progression of the peace process and enhance regional cooperation in combating terrorism.

"The issue of terrorism and extremism is something not faced by Afghanistan alone," he said. "We have to enhance regional cooperation, because the leaders of the Taliban are not in Afghanistan."

According to Rasoul, Afghanistan has already started discussing the issue with nearby countries, particularly Pakistan.

Rasoul, who is on a three-day visit to China, expressed his appreciation of China's assistance to his country in its reconstruction. He called for enhanced bonds with China in politics, trade and culture as well as regional and global affairs.

He also asked for more investments from Chinese companies in areas such as infrastructure building, mining and food production.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi have met with Rasoul during his stay in Beijing. Both officials reaffirmed China's commitment to seeking stronger ties with Afghanistan.

Rasoul's current visit is his first to China since taking the foreign minister post in January 2010.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:张茜)

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