China urges closer Afghanistan ties as US withdrawal looms

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BEIJING (AP) — China is urging closer security and economic cooperation with Afghanistan in an apparent effort to bolster its influence in the region as the U.S. and its allies prepare to withdraw their forces from the country. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that foreign ministers from China, Afghanistan and Pakistan met via video conference on Thursday and agreed that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan should be carried out in a responsible and orderly manner to prevent the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan and the return of terrorist forces. It quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying the three countries needed to to strengthen communication and cooperation for the sake of Afghanistan’s interests and those of neighboring countries. 

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