?China Thursday offered to facilitate efforts to try to end the conflict in Afghanistan, months after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of Taliban insurgents visited Beijing.

Several Illegal Cult Members Arrested In China
Several Illegal Cult Members Arrested In China

 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists of the offer in Islamabad during an official visit.

China hopes to help create durable stability in Afghanistan through efforts led by Afghanistan’s government and involving all stakeholders, including the Taliban, the minister said.

Yi was speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistani National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz. Yi also said he was seeking a leading role for Islamabad to settle disputes in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is an important nation for Afghanistan,” the Chinese minister said. “It has a special reach there.”

The statement came weeks after the White House refused to label Taliban militants “terrorists” and instead described them as “armed insurgents,” seen by some as a hint at a change in Washington’s attitude to efforts to reconcile with them.

China has stayed away from the conflict in its backyard since September 11, 2001 but has recently been seeking influence in Afghanistan as Western forces ended their combat mission there.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani travelled to China last year on his first state visit after inauguration. Around the same time, a delegation of Taliban insurgents was also in Beijing.

The Chinese minister also said his country would seek deeper economic and security relations with Pakistan, a country believed to have influence with Taliban insurgents.

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Pakistan later this year to sign several agreements between the countries.

GNA

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