Taliban delegation holds talks in China as part of peace push

Taliban representatives during the peace talks on Afghanistan held in Moscow on Nov. 9, 2018. (TASS/File)
Updated 20 June 2019

Taliban delegation holds talks in China as part of peace push

  • Focus has been the Taliban demand for the withdrawal of US and other foreign forces
  • China pays great attention to the evolving situation in Afghanistan in recent years, Chinese official

BEIJING: China recently played host to a Taliban delegation as part of efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
Representatives of the Taliban, who have been fighting for years to expel foreign forces and defeat the US-backed government in Kabul, have been holding talks with US diplomats for months.
The focus has been the Taliban demand for the withdrawal of US and other foreign forces, in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for militant attacks.
Taliban negotiators have also met senior Afghan politicians and civil society representatives, including in Moscow recently, as part of so-called intra-Afghan dialogue to discuss their country’s future.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing that Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban representative in Qatar, and some of his colleagues had recently visited China, though he did not say exactly when.
Chinese officials met them to discuss the Afghan peace process and counter-terror issues, Lu told the briefing, without saying who met the delegation.
“China pays great attention to the evolving situation in Afghanistan in recent years. We have always played a positive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process,” Lu said.
China supports Afghans resolving their problems themselves through talks, and this visit was an important part of China promoting such peace talks, he said.
“Both sides believe that this exchange was beneficial and agreed to keep in touch about and cooperate on continuing to seek a political resolution for Afghanistan and fighting terrorism.”
China’s far western Chinese region of Xinjiang shares a short border with Afghanistan.
China has long worried about links between militant groups and what it says are Islamist extremists operating in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur people, who speak a Turkic language.
China, a close ally of Pakistan, has been deepening its economic and political ties with Kabul and is also using its influence to try to bring the two uneasy neighbors closer.
The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, visited Kabul last December.


Makkah governor, Pakistan’s consul general discuss Hajj arrangements

Updated 05 February 2020

Makkah governor, Pakistan’s consul general discuss Hajj arrangements

  • Majid presented a painting of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque, named after King Faisal, to the Makkah governor
  • Prince Khaled welcomed the consul general and recalled fond memories of his visit to Pakistan many years ago

MAKKAH: Khalid Majid, consul general of Pakistan in Jeddah, recently paid a courtesy call to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
Majid expressed his gratitude for the facilities extended to the Pakistani mission as well as to the Pakistani community in the Kingdom.
Prince Khaled welcomed the consul general and recalled fond memories of his visit to Pakistan many years ago, and acknowledged the cordial relations between the two countries.
Issues related to the Pakistani community and upcoming Hajj arrangements were also discussed. The consul general extended an invitation to Prince Khaled to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, which was accepted.
Majid presented a painting of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque, named after King Faisal, to the Makkah governor.