China held rounds of Taliban talks: Afghanistan's Abdullah

Claims China asked Taliban leaders to talk directly with Afghan government


Reuters March 13, 2015
Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: China has held rounds of talks with the Taliban and asked the Islamist militants to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, the head of Afghanistan's power sharing government said on Friday.

The Chinese have held "one, two or three" rounds of talks with the Taliban in the past few months, Abdullah Abdullah said at a conference organised by an Indian media group.

"They asked the Taliban to have talks directly with the Afghan government, that's a good message," Abdullah said, adding that he did not know what the outcome would be of China's efforts.

 

Read: Afghan peace process: Kabul in ‘preliminary contact’ with Taliban

 

China's foreign minister last month said during a visit to Islamabad that Beijing was willing to help mediate talks to end the Afghan war, but Chinese officials have not provided many details. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said this week that reports its diplomats in Islamabad met last month with Taliban representatives "do not accord with reality".

 

Read: Wang Yi in Islamabad: Beijing offers to assist Afghan reconciliation

 

Abdullah, speaking at the India Today Conclave 2015 in New Delhi, did not say where the meetings took place. He said Afghanistan had begun to improve relations with China under the previous president, Hamid Karzai, with the idea that Beijing could use its influence over Pakistan to help broker peace talks.

China has close ties with Afghanistan's neighbour Pakistan, which is widely believed to exert considerable control over the group. But it remains to be seen whether China's intervention will have any impact.

In February, a Pakistani army delegation brought word to Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani that Taliban leaders had signalled they were willing to open talks, according to senior Pakistani and Afghan officials. Since then, senior representatives of the militant group have reportedly visited Islamabad where they were told to end a rift between two leaders that could undermine a peace process, two Taliban sources said.

Abdullah's backing of the nascent process to negotiate an end to the 13-year insurgency is crucial because many of his supporters represent the vehement anti-Taliban wing that fought against the hardline Islamists when they held power until 2001.

COMMENTS (5)

abreez | 6 years ago | Reply Central Asian countries trade with China natural gas for weapons Want China Times 2015-02-01 China plans to sell HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles to its Central Asian neighbors of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to reduce the price it has to pay the two countries for natural gas, reports Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada, on Jan. 25. In the past, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were once the main production area for Soviet weapon systems during the Cold War era. Kazakhstan for example was a producer of torpedoes, missiles and other naval weaponry systems. In total, 11% of the Soviet Union's artillery and 18% of its tanks were produced in Kazakhstan. It was also responsible for manufacturing nuclear weapons for Moscow. Uzbekistan was the only state in the region capable to design and produce military aircraft. After the collapse of Soviet Union, the five new nations began to sell those weapons systems to overseas markets. China was one of the buyers. In 1997, China was reported to have purchased 40 VA-111 Shkval torpedos from Kazakhstan. Uzbek state-run Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Corporation then helped China purchase 34 Il-76MD transports and four Il-78MK refueling aircraft from Russia in 2005. China eventually stopped purchasing weapons systems from Central Asian countries as it found the quality fade due to lack of resources. Then in a turn of events, after having lost the capability to develop their own weapon systems, all five former Soviet states began looking to China for help. Since natural gas produced in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is vital to China's development, the country is willing to sell advanced weapon systems such as the FD-2000, an export version of the HQ-9 missile, to its western neighbors as a way to get better deals. Yet there is a catch. If China successfully convinces both nations to purchase FD-2000s, they will then have to purchase Chinese radars, early warning aircrafts and even fighter jets to coordinate with the air defense system. The Kanwa Defense Review said that China at least sold one Wing Loong-1A unmanned aerial vehicle to Uzbekistan. Its test flight took place in 2012. China is trying to sell Wing Loongs and FC-1/JF-17 multirole fighters to Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan as well. Some of the weapons may be sold with the assistance of Pakistan or another third party. For instance, Azerbaijan received its WS-1 multiple rocket via Turkey.
abreez | 6 years ago | Reply Power games, where one find sometime China+Russia against America and sometime China against India. Sometime America+NATO against China sometime Russia against America+NATO sometime China against Russia, but at the end what will matter ‘country to country relationship’.
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