Beijing is leading the initiative of organizing dialogue between the rival factions of Afghanistan in a bid to bring an end to the devastation caused by the 17-year long war after the peace process between the United States and Taliban broke down on the withdrawal of the US forces.
China has been attempting to facilitate peace efforts and encourage an intra-Afghan dialogue, and earlier in September, a delegation of the Taliban arrived in Beijing to hold talks with Chinese government officials.
China invites Taliban, Afghan officials for two-day talks https://t.co/RdjK9zV3QN pic.twitter.com/G4XYzJhBOi
— Al Jazeera Breaking News (@AJENews) October 23, 2019
Taliban Delegation Invited to China
Suhail Shaheen, the official spokesperson of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said on Tuesday, the Chinese leadership has invited a large delegation of the Taliban to attend the conference. The Taliban delegation will be led by senior Taliban leader, Mullah Baradar Akhund.
Shaheen added, “The conference is a series of short conferences in Moscow and Doha. All participants are personally involved and offer their personal views on Afghanistan’s problem-solving process.”
د چین هیواد د محترم ملا برادر اخند په مشرۍ دا.امارت یو لوی هئيت ته په کنفرانس کې د ګډون بلنه ورکړې.یادکنفرانس په مسکو او دوحه کې دشویو کنفرانسونو لړۍ ده. ټول ګډونوال په شخصي توګه ګډون کوي او د افغانستان د مسئلې د حل دلارو چارو په اړه خپل شخصي نظر وړاندې کوي.
— Suhail Shaheen. محمد سهیل شاهین (@suhailshaheen1) October 22, 2019
Suhail Shaheen also informed that the Taliban leader, Mullah Baradar Akhund and his delegation had a meeting with the Chinese Special Envoy to Afghanistan, Aidan Jijun, and the Chinese Ambassador to Qatar on Tuesday. During the meeting, the Chinese and the Taliban discussed the dynamics of the upcoming intra-Afghan conference.
Beijing aims to host an intra-Afghan dialogue as a means to encourage reconciliation between the warring factions of Afghanistan, which has been ongoing on the sidelines of the dialogue between the United States and the Taliban.
Read more: Is Pakistan Ready to take Blow-back from Afghan Peace Process if it Fails?
Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Idrees Zaman said that that the Afghan government is aware of Beijing’s initiative to hold an intra-Afghan dialogue. However, he refrained from sharing any comments on the matter at this stage.
Reports reveal that a spokesperson for the former Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, said that Karzai is aware of Beijing’s plan for initiating talks, and Karzai will attend if an invitation is extended to him. Karzai was also present at the intra-Afghan dialogue held in Russia in February.
Earlier in September, US President Donald Trump had ended the dialogues with the Taliban aimed at mapping out the course of the withdrawal of all US troops and foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban. However, in the wake of the bomb attack in Kabul, which killed 12 people, including a US soldier, Trump halted the peace process.
Washington has been supporting the peace process in a bid to broker a deal with the Taliban that could lead the way for a ceasefire, and initiate power-sharing dialogue between the insurgents and the Afghan government. However, the Taliban have refused to hold dialogue with the government, shunning it as a puppet in the hands of Washington.
Read more: US won’t pullout from Afghanistan like Syria: Pentagon chief
However, officials from the Afghan government have joined the intra-Afghan dialogue in the capacity of Afghan citizens. Earlier in July, a powerful delegation comprising of 60 Afghan representatives, including civil society members and government officials met in Qatar for the second round of the intra-Afghan dialogue.