China eyes to hold new intra-Afghan meeting


Russia, the U.S. and Pakistan welcomed China’s proposal of hosting the next intra-Afghan meeting in Beijing, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

The proposal was made and approved during the quadrilateral meeting attended by the Chinese, Russian, U.S. and Pakistani special envoys for Afghanistan in the Russian capital Moscow on Oct. 25, the ministry said in a statement.

It is suggested that a “wide range of political figures” including representatives of the government, other Afghan leaders and the Taliban would be invited in the next meeting, the statement said.

The date and venue of the next meeting will be fixed in coordination through diplomatic channels, the statement added.

Russia, the U.S., China and Pakistan reaffirmed that the peace in Afghanistan can be achieved by political and diplomatic means and the solution must include protection for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children and minorities.

The four countries said the reduction of violence and mutual release of prisoners would facilitate the negotiating process.

They also urged all sides to observe a ceasefire during the intra-Afghan talks to enable participants to reach an agreement.

“Russia, China and Pakistan expressed their support for the earliest resumption of negotiation process and reaching an agreement between the United States of America and the Taliban movement, which will pave the way for launching intra-Afghan talks,” it said.

On Sept. 9, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly canceled a meeting in the U.S. with representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban.

Trump declared the peace talks with the Taliban “dead,” citing a recent attack in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul which killed a dozen people, including a U.S. service member.

The raging Afghan conflict is in its 18th year, with thousands of lives lost and millions forced to flee their homes. The UN has repeatedly urged that opportunities for peace in the region be seized.
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