On Taliban's reported visit, China says it's in touch with all Afghan sides

Updated: 2016-08-02 14:08

By AN BAIJIE(chinadaily.com.cn)

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China is in touch with all sides related to Afghan issue, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday when asked to confirm the reported visit of a Taliban delegation to Beijing last month.

China wants the Afghan government and Taliban to hold peaceful talks as soon as possible to restore peace and stability, the foreign spokesperson office replied to China Daily through a written statement.

The statement neither confirmed nor denied the reported visit of a Taliban delegation, only saying that China is in touch with all relevant sides.

China will continue to play a positive and constructive role, and it has always supported the Afghan peaceful resolution process under the principle of "guided by Afghan people, and owned by Afghan people", said the statement.

According to a Reuters report, a delegation led by Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar, visited Beijing from July 18 to 22 at the invitation of the Chinese government.

The report, quoting a senior member of the Taliban, said the Taliban delegation "informed Chinese officials about the occupation by invading forces and their atrocities on the Afghan people".

While meeting in Beijing on Sunday with Qadam Shah Shahim, chief of staff of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan expressed gratitude toward Afghanistan for the country's support in fighting the terrorist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, according to a statement released by the ministry on Sunday.

Shahim said Afghanistan would like to deepen cooperation with China in fighting terrorists including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, the statement said.