TEHRAN, July 28 (MNA) – China told a visiting Taliban delegation on Wednesday it expected the group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding the country, the Chinese foreign ministry said.
Nine Taliban representatives met Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on a two-day visit during which the peace process and security issues were discussed, a Taliban spokesperson said, Reuters reported.
Wang said the Taliban is expected to “play an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan”, according to a readout of the meeting from the foreign ministry.
The visit was likely to further cement the group’s recognition on the international stage at a sensitive time even as violence increases in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has a political office in Qatar where peace talks are taking place and this month sent representatives to Iran where they had meetings with an Afghan government delegation.
“Politics, economy, and issues related to the security of both countries and the current situation of Afghanistan and the peace process were discussed in the meetings,” Taliban spokesperson Mohammed Naeem tweeted about the China visit.
Naeem added that the group, led by Taliban negotiator and deputy leader Mullah Baradar Akhund, was also meeting China’s special envoy for Afghanistan and that the trip took place after an invitation from Chinese authorities.
“(The) delegation assured China that they will not allow anyone to use Afghan soil against China,” Naeem said.
“China also reiterated its commitment of continuation of their assistance with Afghans and said they will not interfere in Afghanistan’s issues but will help to solve the problems and restoration of peace in the country", he added.