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Taliban promise to address 'all concerns' from Beijing

2022-03-24T14:28:20.602Z

The Taliban assured Thursday March 24 that they would respond to “all the concerns” of China, during a meeting in Kabul with the head of ...



The Taliban assured Thursday, March 24 that they would respond to "

all the concerns

" of China, during a meeting in Kabul with the head of Chinese diplomacy Wang Yi, for his first visit to Afghanistan since coming to power. Islamic fundamentalists.

Read alsoAfghanistan: the Taliban order the closure of secondary schools to girls

China shares a small, 76-kilometre border at very high altitude with Afghanistan, but Beijing has long feared that its neighbor could become a fallback base for separatists and Islamists from the local Uyghur ethnic group.

Arriving in Kabul on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

In a statement issued by the deputy prime minister, without specifically mentioning the Uyghurs, the Taliban assured Wang Yi that they would address "

all concerns

" that he "

believes arise from Afghan soil

".

Since their return to power in August, the Taliban have repeatedly pledged not to allow Afghan soil to serve as a base for foreign armed groups.

They had housed Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda figures following the 9/11 attacks, which led to the United States intervening in Afghanistan and ending the first Taliban rule (1996 -2001).

Read alsoThe Taliban announce that China will maintain its embassy in Afghanistan and increase its aid

Prior to their takeover in Kabul, Beijing sought to maintain ties with Islamic fundamentalists as US and NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

"

The Islamic Emirate wants to further expand its ties

" with China, the Deputy Prime Minister's statement said.

Wang Yi and Muttaqi also spoke of expanding "

economic and political ties

" between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said in a tweet.

giant copper mine

They also discussed the start of work in the mining sector in Afghanistan.

Beijing had obtained in 2007 the concession of the giant Aynak copper mine (the second largest deposit in the world), near the Afghan capital, for 3 billion dollars.

In addition to the head of Chinese diplomacy, the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, also arrived in Kabul where he was to meet with Taliban officials, the Foreign Ministry said.

Afghanistan is plunged into a serious financial and humanitarian crisis, caused by the freezing of billions of assets held abroad and the sudden halt in international aid which has carried the country at arm's length for 20 years, and which now comes back to the dropper.

Wang Yi's visit comes a week before a meeting scheduled in Beijing with countries bordering Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan, to discuss aid to the new Taliban regime and new economic projects.

Read alsoIn Kabul, Taliban terror to the end of despair

Maintaining stability after decades of war in Afghanistan is Beijing's top consideration as it seeks to secure its borders and strategic infrastructure investments in neighboring Pakistan, home to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

For Beijing, a stable and cooperative administration in Kabul would also pave the way for an expansion of its major

New Silk Roads

infrastructure project , which Afghanistan joined in 2016.

The Taliban, for their part, see China as a crucial source of investment and economic support, either directly or through Pakistan.

Unlike several Western powers, China has kept its embassy in Kabul open and its ambassador is still present in the Afghan capital.

Beijing nevertheless repatriated 210 of its nationals just before the capture of the capital by the Taliban.

No country has so far officially recognized the new regime in Kabul.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-03-24

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