China’s interest in Afghanistan could be ‘positive’, says US Blinken

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was possible China’s interest in Afghanistan could be “a positive thing”.

China's interest in Afghanistan
China’s interest in Afghanistan could be ‘positive’, says US Blinken

He said this was happening when China was looking for a “peaceful resolution of the conflict” with a “truly representative and inclusive government”.

His comments came after Taliban representatives visited China.

China has said it has seen the Taliban play a key role in the peace process and in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

“No one is interested in having the country taken over by the Taliban militants, restoring the Islamic state,” said Mr Blinken, who was asked about the talks during a visit to India.

He urged the Taliban to come to the “negotiating table … peacefully”.

Nine Taliban representatives on Wednesday were visiting Tianjin for the talks.

In a tweet, a Taliban spokesman said China “reaffirmed its commitment to continue its assistance to the Afghan people and said it would not interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs but would help resolve problems and restore peace in the country.”

In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said it would pursue a policy of “non-interference” in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

“The sudden withdrawal of American troops and NATO from Afghanistan has actually pointed to the failure of US policy towards Afghanistan, and the people of Afghanistan have a significant opportunity to stabilize and develop their country,” he added.

Violence is rampant in Afghanistan, with the Taliban taking control of major provinces, as the US withdraws its troops before the September deadline.

A high-level conference in China proposes that the Taliban be recognized internationally as a major political power.

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