The United States and China have shared stakes in the success of Afghanistan, top diplomats said, reiterating their commitment to promoting an Afghan-led reconciliation process.
“In this vital mission, the good news is that you don’t stand alone. The US and China share a stake in your success, a pledge that our two countries renewed in June at our Strategic and Economic Dialogue,” said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He was welcoming a group of Afghan diplomats at the State Department, who are undergoing a two-week training programme as part of the US-China initiative, which is in its fourth year.
From US, these young Afghan diplomats will travel to China for another two weeks of training.
“It’s our very great hope that in the years to come, the relationship between the US and Afghanistan will be defined not by the legacy of war but by possibilities and, indeed, the gains of peace,” Blinken said.
The programme has enhanced mutual understanding among the three countries and shows the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction, said Chinese envoy Cui Tiankai. He hailed it as a good model for China-US co-operation in a third country.
“Building on our successful experiences, China, the United States and Afghanistan will extend the programme to the training of Afghanistan’s agricultural and medical care personnel this year,” he added.
Afghan Ambassador to US Dr Hamdullah Mohib hoped the young diplomats would take full advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best seniors.
“Our diplomatic corps is 800-strong, emphasising the importance that you as individuals have to Afghanistan’s international relations. It is a great responsibility — you are carrying the voice of the Afghan people to Washington, Beijing, and other capitals across the world,” he remarked.
“The training programme would equip you — our best and brightest diplomats — with the skills and tools you need to represent Afghanistan abroad,” Mohib said.
He continued Afghanistan was fortunate to have forward-thinking and innovative young men representing it abroad. “We are not lamenting the past, or discouraged by the challenges of the present, but we are focusing on creating a better future.” (PAN)