China pledges $81 mn financial assistance for Afghanistan

Beijing, Oct 31 (IANS) China Friday pledged to provide non-reimbursable assistance of 500 million yuan (about 81 million dollars) to Afghanistan this year at an international meeting on Afghanistan held here.

China will provide non-reimbursable assistance of 1.5 billion yuan (about 244 million dollars) over three years to Afghanistan, to help the country train 3,000 people of all circles in the upcoming five years and provide 500 scholarships, Xinhua quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as saying.

He was addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.

“Firm support for Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction should be concrete action instead of verbal commitment,” the premier said.

He pledged to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, agriculture, water conservation and mineral resources exploitation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged that the Chinese side will implement assistance and training plans, and try to open training courses on anti-terrorism, drug control and disaster management.

China will have a broader and deepened participation in cooperation under the framework of the Istanbul Process, and promote Afghanistan-related regional cooperation, Wang said.

Started in 2011, the Istanbul Process is the only Afghanistan-related cooperation mechanism led by regional countries.

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