China’s Wang, Russia’s Kabulov show up in Kabul, engage Taliban leaders

China and Russia made their presence felt in Kabul Thursday, signalling they had not forgotten Afghanan despite their own preoccupations, and expressed solidarity with the Taliban regime a day after it drew global condemnation for turning away girls from high schools.
Chinese Foreign Miner and State Councillor Wang Yi made a surprise stopover in Kabul before he showed up in Delhi in the evening. He is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit Kabul after the Taliban takeover of Afghanan last August.
A large Russian delegation led Zamir Kabulov, Special Representative for Afghanan, also met Taliban officials to discuss economic cooperation.
Wang, who arrived in Kabul from Islamabad after attending the conference of OIC Foreign Miners, met Foreign Miner Amir Khan Muttaqi and Deputy Prime Miner Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

China is hosting a meeting of Foreign Miners of Afghanan’s neighbours later this month. This will be the third meeting of the miners, but the first in which Afghanan is scheduled to participate. The first meeting was held in Pakan last September, and the second in Iran in November.
According to Xinhua and Global Times, Wang told Baradar that China welcomes “Afghanan’s active participation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and stands ready to extend the China-Pakan Economic Corridor to Afghanan, replicate more successful experiences, and make Afghanan, with the geographical strength as the ‘Heart of Asia’, a bridge for regional connectivity”.
He said he hopes Afghanan will “firmly and resolutely” fulfill its “commitment of not allowing any external forces to use Afghan territory to oppose its neighbouring countries or harm the security of other countries”.
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
He told Baradar that China is “the only major country that has not hurt Afghanan”. China’s policy on the Afghan issue, he said, is based on “three respects” and “three nevers.”
“China respects Afghanan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respects the independent choice made the Afghan people, and respects Afghanan’s religious beliefs and customs. China never interferes in Afghanan’s internal affairs, never seeks any self-interest in Afghanan, and never seeks the so-called sphere of influence.”
According to Xinhua, he also expressed the hope that Afghanan “will continue to establish an inclusive political structure, implement prudent policies, better safeguard the rights and interests of women and children, and demonstrate the tolerance and friendliness of Muslims”.
Afghan Foreign Minry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balki, in a statement, said Muttaqi and Wang discussed “political, economic & transit issues, air corridor, dried fruit export, educational scholarships, visa issuance, commencing work in the mines sector, Afghanan’s role in BRI & other matters of significance”.
Muttaqi called Wang’s visit a “positive message to the Afghans and the world”.
“Miner Muttaqi added that the security brought about the new (government) lays the foundation for foreign investment, including for China, in Afghanan that ensures their interest besides cooperating with Afghans in economic growth & stability with the full support of the new gov,” Balkhi said in a Twitter post.
Russian envoy Kabulov also met Baradar, and reassured the Taliban that “the arrival of this comprehensive delegation to Afghanan shows that Russia is committed to taking practical steps after determining the priorities of the Islamic Emirate,” according to a statement on Twitter Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanan.

Kabulov, whose delegation included officials from the Russian minries of Defence, Interior, Economy, Industry, Agriculture and Energy, said his government was ready to sign a number of agreements with the Taliban. Baradar invited Russia to invest in all sectors.
The Russian envoy also met Muttaqi. According to the Foreign Minry spokesman, the two “focused on strengthening political, economic, transit and regional relations”.
The Afghan statement said Kabulov called the policies of the Islamic Emirate “balanced and in the interest of the region and the world, and expressed satisfaction” with its achievements.

Related Articles

Back to top button