‘Chinese, Taliban team discuss peace process’

Beijing: Chinese officials and representatives of Taliban discussed Afghan peace process and counter-terror issues.

Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman informed during a briefing, without saying who met delegation.

This was part of efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Taliban, who have been fighting for years to expel foreign forces and defeat US-backed government in Kabul, have been holding talks with US diplomats for months.

The focus has been Taliban demand for withdrawal of US and other foreign forces, in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would 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.

Lu Kang told that Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban representative in Qatar and some of his colleagues had recently visited China, though he did not say exactly when.

“China pays great attention to evolving situation in Afghanistan in recent years”.

We have always played a positive role in Afghan peace and reconciliation process, Lu added.

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.”

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