Since returning from his trip to China, the first official trip of his presidency, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has said that China will assist in bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.
In a press conference this week, President Ghani said China would provide very specific aid for specific security issues in Afghanistan, but did not elaborate on what they would be.
"China has committed 500 million Chinese Yuan, which will be given to Afghanistan without need for repayment," Ghani said.
Many expected that Ghani would ask his Chinese counterparts to put pressure on Pakistan, a close ally of Beijing, and work to get the Taliban to the negotiating table. He said there were five key circles that would need to be involved in forging a durable peace in Afghanistan.
"First circle is the six neighboring countries, second circle is our religion Islam, third circle are countries like the United States, Canada, Europe and ISAF countries, fourth circle are Asian countries and finally, International Institutions," Ghani said. The Afghan president added that he believed China and the U.S. would be able to cooperate in Afghanistan.
When asked about negotiating with the Taliban, Ghani's use of the term "political opposition" was called into question. "That is why we will talk to them, we Afghans share the same values of patriotism and Islamic religion and future perspective, but we have different views on how to manage the country," he responded.
All together, Ghani's trip has been heralded as a success. "I consider this trip full of achievements and hope that what has been promised will be implemented," University Professor Farooq Bashar told TOLOnews.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic trip to Pakistan has been planned for next week. "Level of support from Pakistan will be cleared next week, our trip plan is prepared and we will meet with warm relations," Ghani said at the press conference.