Chinese FM lands in Kabul on surprise visit after OIC moot


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Kabul on Thursday morning in a trip that was not earlier announced, officials confirmed.

The visit comes a week before Beijing hosts a two-day conference, on March 30-31, of Afghanistan’s neighbours on how to assist the Taliban government. Pakistan and Iran had earlier hosted similar meetings of these neighbouring countries after the Taliban takeover.

Yi’s visit is the first by a senior Chinese leader after the Taliban took control of Kabul in August and comes right after he completed his three-day visit to Islamabad where he attended the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s foreign minister’s conference, which ended yesterday, as a special guest.

Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi received Yi on arrival in Kabul along with a high-level delegation.

The two sides will hold talks on important issues, focusing on China’s role in stability and development, the state news agency said.

FM Yi last visited Kabul in June 2017 after a huge truck bomb killed and injured many. He had tried to ease tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan after exchanges of fire in May 2017 had made relations tenuous.

The Chinese foreign minister’s visit might give a diplomatic boost to the Taliban government, which is yet to be recognised by any country.

China has been involved in the Afghan peace process after the US withdrew most of its troops in 2014. Taliban political representatives have paid several visits to China over the past few years.BNA


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