China Agrees to Host Meeting on Afghan Peace

Govt Has Finalized Participant List For China Meeting

Tolo News (Afghanistan)

6 November 2019

Sediqqi did not provide details about the participants but confirmed that the list has been finalized by the government.

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The Afghan government has finalized the list of participants for the China meeting on Afghan peace, President Ghani’s spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi confirmed on Wednesday.

“This meeting could…provide a process that paves the way for a negotiation between the government and the Taliban,” Sediqqi said.

On Monday, President Ashraf Ghani in a phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed to a meeting which will be held in Beijing and will include a Taliban delegation to discuss Afghanistan’s peace agreement, according to Sediqqi.

The meeting was originally meant to be held on October 29 and 30 in Beijing, but the Afghan government asked China to delay the meeting due to unknown reasons.

It not yet clear when the meeting will take place, but Sediqqi on Monday said that the meeting will be held in the “near future,” and that delegations from both the Kabul government and the Taliban will exchange views on the peace process.

“The date of the meeting will be announced by China. The Afghan government will soon share a list of its participants with the Chinese government,” Sediqqi added.

Some politicians said there are differences over the formation of the delegation:

“I am calling on the government and politicians to suppress their differences and agree on a list because such tensions will not bring lasting peace to the country,” said political analyst Ahmadullah Alizai.

Haji Din Mohammad, the leader of the Peace and Development Party, said: “The fact is, if they want to reach an agreement with the Taliban and solve their problems, they should choose those who are aware of the issues for peace, and then I believe they will have results.”

The Taliban announced that they were invited to the meeting by the Chinese government and that a delegation from the group led by Taliban’s senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will attend the meeting.

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The Palace spokesperson said the date of the meeting will be announced by the Chinese government. 

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President Ashraf Ghani in a phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday agreed to a meeting which will be held in Beijing and will include a Taliban delegation to discuss Afghanistan’s peace agreement, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

The meeting, to be held in the “near future,” will be the first time that China hosts delegations from both the Kabul government and the Taliban to exchange views on the peace process.

“The date of the meeting will be announced by China. The Afghan government will soon share a list of its participants with the Chinese government,” Sediqqi added.

Some politicians said there are differences over the formation of the delegation which will travel to China for the meeting.

“We are aware that the (Afghan) government and Hamid Karzai do not agree on the list (of participants),” said Sayed Akbar Agha, head of Shorai Nejat Afghanistan, a political movement in Kabul.

“One side makes one list and the other side makes another list and this does not help the peace process,” he said.

Along with China, Afghanistan’s neighbor Iran has a stake in the Afghan peace process, say analysts, but Iran reportedly turned down an invitation to the Moscow-hosted meetings that included US representatives.

Quoted in a report by Iran Front Page, Seyyed Rasoul Mousavi, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s special assistant and Director General of the Southeast Asian Department, said Iran has twice refused invitations to participate in meetings on Afghanistan.

“A four-party meeting was held in Moscow with China, the US, Russia and Pakistan in attendance, and Iran was also invited to take part in the session, but the Islamic Republic declined the invitation,” he said as quoted by Iran Front Page.

“They (Iranian officials) believe that the peace process which is run by Mr. Khalilzad is not a peace process, but it is an attempt for changing the face of fighters from Taliban to Daesh,” a Kabul-based analyst Waheed Muzhda said.

China Agrees to Host Meeting on Afghan Peace