BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with Taliban representatives during a trip this week to Qatar, an official said on Monday.
The talks during Wang’s visit, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, are the latest high-level contact between the two sides and will “provide an opportunity to have an in-depth exchange of views on Afghanistan’s situation and issues of joint concern,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing.
Beijing has kept its embassy open in Kabul but has not recognised the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. It has urged the group not to provide a safe haven for militants seeking independence for the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.
“Since August this year, the situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes and the Afghan people have a historic opportunity to independently decide the country’s destiny. However, they still face many difficulties and challenges and are in urgent need of external support,” Wang said. “As a traditional friendly neighbour and partner of Afghanistan, China alwayscalled for dialogue and contact to guide the development of the Afghan situation in a positive direction and help the Afghan people to get over difficulties,” he said. Wang met with a delegation led by a top Taliban leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, in July in the Chinese city of Tianjin, shortly before the group seized power from Afghanistan’s elected government.