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Top Chinese diplomat meets Taliban deputy head in Doha

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R) receives Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) in Doha, Qatar on October 26, 2021 [Qatari Emirate Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R) receives Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) in Doha, Qatar on October 26, 2021 [Qatari Emirate Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met with the Taliban's deputy head, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and other key officials for talks over the recent situation in Afghanistan in Qatar's capital, Doha, official statements confirmed on Tuesday.

According to a statement by the Taliban-run Foreign Ministry in Kabul, the Afghan side said Afghanistan's soil would not be used against China and expressed gratitude for Beijing's humanitarian assistance, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"H.E. Muttaqi called on the Chinese side to address issues pertaining to Afghan traders and to facilitate the export of onyx marble, precious plants, dried apricots, almonds, dried figs, pistachios, and particularly pine nuts," said Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qahar Balkhi.

He added that the Afghan side, led by Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, also called on China to provide educational opportunities for the Afghan students in China.

"Minister Wang Yi welcomed recent positive changes in Afghanistan and highlighted historic Afghan-Sino ties, adding that China would work on the basis of mutual interests of both countries and never interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs," said Balkhi.

Separately, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed the Wang-Baradar meeting in Doha.

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Thailand noted that Wang said Afghanistan is facing quadruple challenges, namely the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos, terrorist threats, and governance difficulties.

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"China hopes that the Afghan Taliban can further demonstrate openness and inclusiveness and unite all ethnic groups and factions in Afghanistan to work together for peaceful reconstruction. It should effectively protect the rights and interests of women and children, adopt a friendly policy toward its neighbouring countries, and build a modern country that conforms to the wishes of the people and the trend of the times," said the statement.

Wang said China always respects Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and supports the Afghan people in independently determining their own destiny and choosing the development path, it added.

"East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an UN-designated international terrorist organisation, not only poses a real threat to China's national security and territorial integrity but also jeopardises the domestic stability and long-term stability and security in Afghanistan. China hopes, and believes, that the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with the ETIM and other terrorist organisations, and take effective measures to resolutely crackdown on them," read the statement.

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