The Chinese government has decided to provide 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million) for urgent humanitarian aid to the interim government of Afghanistan, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in Beijing on Thursday.
Jiang announced the decision during his official talks with visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
On the Afghan issue, Jiang said that all sects in Afghanistan have agreed to form an interim government with the assistance of the United Nations.
The establishment of the interim government, due to be officially announced in two days, marked the beginning of Afghanistan's march towards peace and stability after years of war, he said.
"China sincerely hopes all parties in Afghanistan will give priority to the country's needs and to peace, firmly implementing the agreement, and acting towards national reconciliation so as to restore peace and tranquility to the country as soon as possible," he said.
The Chinese president said that the destiny of Afghanistan should eventually be in the hands of the Afghan people. In the meantime, any political solution to the Afghan issue should include the role of the United Nations, he said.
As an important neighboring state of Pakistan, Jiang said, China also supports the active role played by Pakistan towards the peace process in Afghanistan.
Jiang said that China has provided assistance to Afghanistan via the UN over the past years. As the situation in the country returns to normal, China will also participate in its post-war reconstruction.
Musharraf agreed with Jiang's analysis on the current international situation. He said that Pakistan was satisfied with the Bonn agreement on the Afghan issue and hoped military operations in Afghanistan be ended as soon as possible.
He said that it is imperative to resolve the refugee problem and ensure the interim government has full power. Only by doing this can a balanced representation of different ethnic groups in the transitional government work together for six months. And Pakistan sincerely hoped Afghanistan achieve national reconciliation and lasting peace, he added.
Musharraf began his China visit Thursday afternoon at the invitation of Jiang Zemin.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2002)