BEIJING (AP) — Afghanistan's national security adviser was in Beijing on Thursday as part of a push by his beleaguered nation for help in ending its 17-year-old war with the Taliban.
Hamdullah Mohib met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, telling him Afghanistan is seeking to "bring some long-term stability to our region."
China and Afghanistan share a narrow border and have cooperated on frontier security. China is also a close ally of Pakistan, accused by Afghanistan and the U.S. of providing safe havens for the Taliban and other groups opposing the government in Kabul.
Wang emphasized the "mutual understanding and mutual support" the countries have offered each other and China's backing of efforts to "promote domestic peace and political reconciliation in Afghanistan."
"At such an important moment, we know you have been entrusted by President Ashraf Ghani to pay this visit to enhance mutual understanding and coordination. We think this is highly timely and necessary," Wang said.
On Wednesday, the Afghan president's special peace envoy, Mohammad Omer Daudzai, expressed hope that the war that has cost the United States about $1 trillion will end in 2019.
"We are naming 2019 as a year of peace for Afghanistan," Daudzai said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Washington's special peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, is also on a tour of the region, visiting India, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Taliban have refused direct talks with Kabul despite pressure by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and even Pakistan.
In response, Washington has suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursements to Pakistan. Pakistan says its influence over the Taliban is overstated.