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Beijing talks on Afghan peace crop up

AT News

KABUL: After some sources within the Taliban group said that secret talks have been ongoing between US Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital in Doha, seemingly the manifold delay peace talks in Beijing, the capital city of China, could likely to be taken place in near future. 

In a meeting on Sunday with Chinese Ambassador to Kabul Wang You, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Idrees Zaman thanked the government of China for their continued support towards peace process in the country. The meeting focused on issues of mutual interest, including the peace efforts.

The two sides also exchanged views on reforms in the UN Security Council and discussed the details of intra-Afghan peace dialogue due to be held in Beijing, China.

One day before, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration currently works on a peace deal with the Taliban to end the longest war in Afghanistan.

“You know we’re pulling way down in Afghanistan. We’re working on an agreement now with the Taliban. Let’s see what happens,” Trump told Fox News Friday in a telephone call to the program.

However he didn’t give further details about his plans and deal with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, source who wished to go unnamed told Afghanistan Times that US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has landed in Qatar, where he has held talks with the Taliban representatives.

According to sources, the talks would be secretly continued and that Trump may announce the official round of negotiation within days.

The development made after top three Taliban commanders, including Anas Haqqnai brother of Serajudin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani terrorist network, have been released in exchanged for the two foreign professors, who were held hostage by the Taliban insurgents since 2016.

Previously, some political leaders criticized President Ashraf Ghani for what they allege “monopoly” of the upcoming intra-Afghan negotiations in the Chinese capital, saying that the talks should not be controlled by the government.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e-Islami party, who is competing in the presidential contests, that neither he nor other political leaders would attend the government-controlled Beijing negotiations in which government delegation and politicians are to meet with Taliban negotiators.

Another politician Mohammad Mohaqeq who leads the Wahdat-e-Islami party, criticized the state ministry for peace, saying that competent people should represent the people of Afghanistan in the negotiations.

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