Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasoul, in his first visit to China since he took office in January, said in Beijing on Wednesday that the elimination of Osama bin Laden was ‘positive’ and will make Afghanistan's transition process easier.
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 death of bin Laden will promote reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
By July the NATO countries plan to start pulling their troops out of Afghanistan. With the troops leaving Afghanistan, the country will have to undergo a transition process. The process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, said Rasoul.
He said the Afghan government is going to equip and train national security forces during the transition period, ensuring progress 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 neighbors, especially Pakistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai in his reaction to Bin Laden’s death had earlier expressed similar views hoping that the world believes that his country is not the place of terrorism, after the al Qaeda leader was found and killed in neighboring Pakistan.
If the international troops/forces are true allies of the Afghans - they should come out and say that the killing of Afghans, children and elders which took place over the many years on a daily basis was not a good idea, Karzai told RTA TV.
Rasoul, acknowledged China's aid to his country in its reconstruction and sought enhanced bond with China in politics, trade and culture as well as regional and global affairs.
He also asked for more investments from the Chinese companies in infrastructure, mining and food production.
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi have assured the visiting foreign minister of Beijing's commitment to forge stronger ties with Afghanistan.