Chinese FM Wang Yi lands in Kabul, meets Taliban leadership

Kabul, March 24 : Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday made a pit-stop visit to the Afghan capital where he held talks with the Taliban leadership on Beijing’s keenness to invest in mining and economic projects. Wang Yi, who arrived from Islamabad, held a meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and expressed China’s readiness to invest in mining and economic projects and to resume work on the Mes Aynak copper mine in Logar, Baradar’s office said. Baradar discussed strengthening and expanding trade, transit and economic ties between Afghanistan and China. In the meeting, both sides discussed expansion of the Afghanistan-China relations in various fields including trade, transit and economic. Wang Yi became the fifth foreign minister to visit since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Wang Yi termed his visit to Afghanistan a step towards strengthening comprehensive relations, adding that the Afghan-China historic ties call for further enhancement and expansion. The two sides discussed political, economic and transit issues, air corridor, exports, educational, and Afghanistan’s role in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He also met the Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign office spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in tweets said the two “discussed political, economic and transit issues, air corridor, dried fruit export, educational scholarships, visa issuance, commencing work in the mines sector, Afghanistan’s role in BRI and other matters of significance.” According to Balkhi, Wang said Beijing “conducts a policy of non-interference in Afghan internal affairs or to safeguard its interests thereof, expressing his objection over the imposed political and economic sanctions on Afghanistan”. “Mr. Wang Yi praised the changes and security by the new Afghan government, highlighting further assistance with Afghanistan besides humanitarian and development assistance provided in the past. “He called the upcoming Foreign Ministers’ meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors in China important, expressing pleasure over FM Muttaqi’s participation in the meeting. “Minister Muttaqi praised FM Wang Yi’s special visit to Kabul, calling it a positive message to the Afghans and the world, appreciating China for its support & assistance, & extending condolences for the aircraft crash in China.” Wang Yi’s visit came on the day Russia’s presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov landed in Kabul — just hours after the Chinese Foreign Minister arrived in the Afghan capital for bilateral talks with Afghan government. RN

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