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January 2, 2015

Afghan Taliban delegation visited China recently

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January 2, 2015

PESHAWR: A delegation of Afghan Taliban recently visited China and held talks with Chinese officials, sources said on Thursday.
The sources said the two-member Taliban delegation led by Qari Din Muhammad, a member of Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, visited China in November last year. The delegation discussed issues related to Afghanistan and the current situation in the region, sources close to Taliban told the AIP or Afghan Islamic Press.
Though the outcome of the talks between the Taliban and Chinese officials is not yet clear, it is possible that Taliban may have started thinking about China’s role in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the sources said.
A Taliban official, who wished not to be named, also confirmed the visit of the Taliban officials to China, saying, “The purpose of the trip was to share the Islamic Emirate’s stance with China.”
It may be recalled that the Taliban delegations from its Qatar office also visited Japan, France and Iran in the past. Besides attending different meetings and conferences, they also held talks with officials of these countries.
The visit of the Taliban delegation to China came shortly after the newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani paid a four-day official trip to China. The Afghan president, while addressing the ‘Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference’ in Beijing, termed China as the key country which can help restore peace in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to take part in the intra-Afghan dialogues.
Similarly, the Chinese ambassador to Kabul, during a meeting with Dr Abdullah Abdullah, also hinted at using its influence on Pakistan in the Afghan peace process.
Afghans are generally hopeful of peace after the presidential election and a peaceful transfer of power to new the president.

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