KABUL: China told a visiting Taliban delegation on Wednesday it expected the insurgent 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 is 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.
He also said that he hoped the Taliban would crackdown on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as it was a “direct threat to China’s national security,” according to the readout, referring to a group China says is active in the Xinjiang region in China’s far west.
Meanwhile Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that they have been consulted over Taliban delegation’s visit to China, adding that the neighboring country has asked the group to seek negotiations over war in Afghanistan.
“The government of the People’s Republic of China recently informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that a Taliban delegation is scheduled to visit China. The invitation is intended to express China’s concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, the presence of foreign fighters and terrorists alongside the Taliban, and the Chinese government’s support for peace talks and political agreement,” a MoFA statement said yesterday.
The statement further said: “During the meeting, the Chinese government expressed its deep concern over the recent Taliban attacks, which have resulted in the increasing killing of innocent people and the displacement of tens of thousands of people and called on the Taliban to accept a political solution and cut ties with regional terrorists.”
The statement said: “Given the common security threats and common political and economic interests, and in the light of recent talks between the two presidents and foreign ministers, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan expects the Chinese government to play important role in strengthening regional consensus and put international pressures on the Taliban to end violence, declare ceasefire, ensure peace and end the presence of foreign terrorists in Afghanistan.”
The Kabul Times