China hopes Taliban will play vital role in ending Afghan war

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Observer Report
Beijing

China told a visiting Taliban delegation on Wednesday it expected the Taliban group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding the country, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Nine Taliban representatives met Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on a two-day visit during which the peace process and security issues were discussed, a Taliban spokesperson said.

Wang said the Taliban are expected to “play an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan”, according to a readout of the meeting from the foreign ministry.

Taliban visit to China was likely to further cement the insurgent group’s recognition on the international stage at a sensitive time even as violence increases in Afghanistan.

The militants have a political office in Qatar where peace talks are taking place and this month sent representatives to Iran where they had meetings with an Afghan government delegation.

“Politics, economy and issues related to the security of both countries and the current situation of Afghanistan and the peace process were discussed in the meetings,” Taliban spokesperson Mohammed Naeem tweeted about the China
visit.

Naeem added that the group, led by Taliban negotiator and deputy leader Mullah Baradar Akhund, was also meeting China’s special envoy for Afghanistan and that the trip took place after an invitation from Chinese authorities.

Security in Afghanistan, with which China shares a border, has been deteriorating fast as the United States withdraws its troops by September.

 

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