An Afghan Taliban delegation recently visited China to discuss matters related to “malicious” policies of the “invading” countries, according to a media report on Saturday. The Taliban delegation travelled from its Qatar-based political office to China this month, weeks after the group refused to take part in the peace process under a quartet of which Beijing is also a member.
China wants to play an ‘active role’ in the peace negotiations if all sides “agree to this role” as it enjoys good relations with both Afghanistan and Taliban, the Express Tribune reported.
“I can confirm that our delegation had visited China to discuss matters between both countries. They discussed the invasion in the region and to adopt a joint stance against the malicious policies of the invading countries,” a Taliban leader said.
“Policies of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) about the region and the world also came under discussion,” the leader was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The official did not make any comment on the possibilityof peace talks between the group and the Afghan government.
But sources familiar with the visit said both sides “explored prospects” for a political dialogue as Beijing could be an ‘honest broker’ to start the peace process. Taliban did not share information as to who held talks in China.
Qari Hamza, spokesman for ‘Fidaye Mahaz’ group says the Taliban leaders visited China from July 18 to July 22. Taliban leaders have previously visited China on several occasions while Chinese officials have also met members of the group in Qatar. China had also hosted Taliban officials of the government-backed High Peace Council in Urumqi earlier last year.