Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R) meets with Afghan president Hamid Karzai in Beijing, capital of China, June 8, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday, hailing the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.
Karzai said the establishment of the strategic partnership with China and SCO observer status approval were vital for Afghanistan, adding that the country appreciates China's help in its reconstruction.
Afghanistan on Thursday was granted observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which concluded its Beijing summit on the same day.
"Afghanistan is willing to implement the consensus reached by both sides and promote the development of bilateral relations. Afghanistan welcomes China to play a stronger role in regional affairs," said Karzai.
The creation of the partnership and Afghanistan receiving observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) show the great importance and vigorous support given by the Chinese government and relevant parties to Afghanistan, said Dai.
The country's new status within the SCO, as well as its strategic partnership with China, will open up new prospects for China-Afghan relations and further cooperation between Afghanistan and the SCO, Dai said.
"China hopes Afghanistan can realize peace, stability, independence and development," Dai said.
Dai said China will continue to implement policies favorable toward Afghanistan and be a "reliable friend" of its people.
President Hu Jintao also met with Karzai on Friday morning, when they agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a "strategic and cooperative partnership."
Karzai came to Beijing for an official visit, as well as to attend the SCO summit.
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R, front) meets with Afghan president Hamid Karzai (L, front) in Beijing, capital of China, June 8, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)