Chinese, Dutch FMs mull bilateral relations

BEIJING: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag exchanged their views on the situation in Afghanistan as well as bilateral ties in a telephone conversation on Tuesday.
Noting that Afghanistan faces multiple challenges in the future, Wang said complex disputes among ethnic groups and religious sects, poverty and refugee issues need to be resolved and risks of a civil war triggered by regional conflicts must be avoided. He said that the international community now is gradually arriving at a consensus on Afghanistan: to build an open and inclusive political structure; to pursue moderate domestic and foreign policies; and to make a clean break with various terrorist groups.
As the culprit of the Afghan issue, the United States should not simply take to its heels or impose sanctions on Afghanistan, Wang said, adding that it is the U.S. responsibility to properly handle chaos around the Kabul airport, provide necessary economic, humanitarian assistances to Afghanistan and help realize smooth transition in the country through concrete actions.
Wang said that China understands European countries’ concerns over Afghanistan and hopes the European side could contribute to peace, stability and development of Afghanistan, adding that China appreciates the Netherlands’ aid to United Nations’ (UN) Afghan humanitarian fund.
Meanwhile, Kaag agreed with views of the Chinese side on the situation in Afghanistan, saying that the international community should actively provide assistance to the Afghan people through joint efforts, promote the settlement of the Afghan issue on the basis of the principles set by the UN Security Council, and make endeavors to promote regional peace and stability. The two sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations.
China regards the Netherlands as the “gateway” to cooperation between China and the European Union (EU), Wang noted, adding that an open and pragmatic partnership for Chinese-Dutch comprehensive cooperation, which was established by the leaders of the two countries, conforms to the characteristics of bilateral ties and charts course for future cooperation between the two sides. – Agencies