-Expects Afghan Taliban will crack down on East Turkestan Islamic Movement
-Chinese officials and Taliban meet in sign of warming ties
-Taliban pledge not to allow any force to use the Afghan territory against China
TIANJIN: China hopes that the Afghan Taliban will make a clear break with East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and all other terrorist organizations, resolutely crack down on them and remove obstacles to regional security, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said while meeting the Taliban delegation from Afghanistan in Tianjin on Wednesday.
Wang stressed that ETIM is an international terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council, which poses a direct threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity. Cracking down on ETIM is the shared responsibility of the international community.
As an important military and political force in Afghanistan, Afghan Taliban is expected to play an important role in the peaceful reconciliation process in Afghanistan. We hope that Afghan Taliban will put national interests first, hold high the banner of peace talks, establish the goal of peace, build a positive image and pursue an inclusive policy, Wang said.
Wang met with the delegation led by Taliban political commission representative Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin on Wednesday. Wang said as Afghanistan’s largest neighbor, China has always respected Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
The hasty withdrawal of the US and NATO military troops from Afghanistan marked the failure of the US policy in Afghanistan and it’s an opportunity for the Afghan people to stabilize and develop their country, Wang said.
The visit comes as the Taliban has made sweeping gains across Afghanistan since May, when the US-led foreign forces began the last stage of their withdrawal, which is set to be completed by the end of August.
The fighting with Afghan government forces has led to a surge in civilian casualties and displacements.
At the same time, Taliban leaders have stepped up their international diplomacy in recent months, seeking global recognition for when they hope to return to power.
Wednesday’s meeting in the Chinese city of Tianjin, which Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem said was at the invitation from Chinese authorities, was widely seen as a gift from Beijing towards that legitimacy.
Naeem wrote on Twitter that “politics, economy and issues related to the security of both countries and the current situation of Afghanistan and the peace process were discussed in the meetings”.
“The delegation assured China that they will not allow anyone to use Afghan soil against China,” Naeem said. “China also reiterated its commitment of continuation of their assistance with Afghans and said they will not interfere in Afghanistan’s issues but will help to solve the problems and restoration of peace in the country.”
Earlier in the meeting Baradar said Afghan Taliban will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to attack China. He hopes that China would get more involved in bringing peace to Afghanistan and play a bigger role in the country’s future economic development.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item