China, Russia, Pak Special Envoys Meet Taliban, Top Afghan Leaders In Kabul

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The Taliban have asked to speak to leaders at the UN (File)

Beijing:

Special envoys of China, Russia, and Pakistan have met the top officials of the interim Taliban government as well as Afghan leaders Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul and discussed the formation of an inclusive government, combating terrorism, and handling the humanitarian situation, a top Chinese official said on Wednesday.

The three special envoys have held talks with acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqi, Finance Minister and other high-level officials of the interim government, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing.

Significantly, they also met with former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, President of the Council for National Reconciliation under the previous government.

This is perhaps the first time that the foreign diplomats met Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah who remained in Kabul even after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month ahead of the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops.

Their meeting also coincides with the Taliban’s letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres nominating its spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s new ambassador to the UN.

The Afghan terrorist group also asked Antonio Guterres to allow it to participate and speak in the 76th session of the General Assembly currently underway in New York.

Besides coordinating closely with Russia, Pakistan and China, who are playing a lead role after the Taliban seized Kabul, the Taliban are trying to establish a new grouping of countries sharing borders with Afghanistan.

The new grouping includes China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, all of them Afghanistan’s neighbours. The Foreign Ministers of the group held a virtual meeting on September 7.

Highlighting its significance, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told BBC on Tuesday that the new group will jointly decide about extending recognition to the Taliban’s interim government.

Elaborating on China, Russia, Pakistan Special envoys talks with the Taliban officials in Kabul, Zhao Lijian said they discussed the situation especially regarding inclusiveness, human rights, economic and humanitarian matters and the friendly relations with Afghanistan.

They also discussed ties with other countries as well as the reunification and territorial integrity of the country, he said.

“They had an in-depth and constructive discussion and also expressed support to combating terrorism and drug crimes,” he said.

Their offer to extend support comes amid increasing attacks reportedly by ISIS-K on the Taliban officials in Jalalabad in the past few days resulting in a number of casualties.

“Taliban said they highly valued the relations with the three countries and they play a responsible role in consolidating the stability in Afghanistan. The three countries called on more humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan from the international community,” Zhao Lijian stated.

They stressed that the US and allies shoulder the main responsibility for the economic and social reconstruction in Afghanistan and provide much-needed economic livelihood and humanitarian assistance, Zhao Lijian said.

The three countries have agreed to maintain constructive contact with the Taliban to promote peace, prosperity, regional stability, and development, he said.

In their talks with Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, they discussed issues related to peace and stability in Afghanistan, he said.

“China said we will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and has been playing a constructive role for the political settlement of the Afghan issue. The Afghan side should make a political arrangement that is open, inclusive, and exercises prudent policy,” Zhao Lijian added.



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