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China Intra Afghan Talks: Uncertainty Continues

Published Nov 14, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

The first intra-Afghan talks are expected to be held in China on November 21. The meeting was originally scheduled for October 29 and 30 in Beijing, but due to uncertainty over Presidential elections and delay in finalising the members from Kabul these have been postponed.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on November 11 at a press conference said “China firmly supports the comprehensive and inclusive ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace reconciliation process and supports constructive dialogue between all parties concerned, including the Afghan government and the Taliban,” he said.

“China is willing to provide a platform for dialogue and exchanges between the parties concerned in the Afghan issue and help with advancing the peace reconciliation process in Afghanistan on the basis of respecting the wishes of all related parties,” he added

Political leaders in Afghanistan remain at loggerheads on the names of the teams, thus there is a delay whereas the Taliban has confirmed that they have been invited and a delegation, led by the Taliban’s senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will attend the meeting. Former Taliban commander, Sayed Akbar Agha claimed that the Taliban is keen for the meeting.

“The Taliban wants to be involved in such meetings with government representatives and influential political figures,” he said.

Ismail Khan, a former Mujahideen leader and a prominent member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party has informed the Tolonews that seven persons from the government and 18 representatives from political parties will be on the list “About 25 people — from the government and political parties– will be part of the delegation, which is still being decided,” he said. “We must reach a decision this week. The list has not yet been announced.”

SediqSediqqi, a spokesman for President Ghani stated that the names are on being finalised. “We believe it’s too early”.

Some reports have also claimed that a delegation has already met the Taliban in Qatar.

“No delegation from the National Security Council has been sent to any country to negotiate with the Taliban on any issue. We have always been open and clear in any step taken towards the peace and the dialogue,” Kabir Haqmal, a spokesman for National Security Adviser has however been quoted by the Tolonews.