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Afghan Taliban confirms delegation’s visit to China

Afghan Taliban confirms  delegation’s visit to China
Taliban yesterday confirmed that a delegation visited Beijing but said the purpose was not to seek China’s support for a possible patch-up with the new Afghan government.

They said the delegation talked about expanding relations with China and briefed Chinese officials about their policies. “The Islamic Emirate is still firm on its previous stance and has not travelled to any country for it to act as a mediator for peace talks and neither has it responded positively to requests of mediation by the said country,” the Taliban said in a statement.

“Taliban always had links with world, regional and especially neighbouring countries, carries out trips every now and then as needs arise and neighbouring China is also a country among this group,” it said.

But, sources said the delegation visited the communist nation to explore possibility of a Chinese role in reaching a deal with the Afghan government. The Taliban did not give the details of the trip - its timing or number of persons who visited - but security sources said that upto 11 members were included in the group.

The delegation undertook the trip soon after the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited China in
October. The group was led by Din Muhammad Hanif, a former Taliban minister who was also part of the insurgents who set up office in Qatar in 2013 to hold peace negotiations but the effort failed as the Afghan government refused to acknowledge it.
Agencies

Agencies

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