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Taliban Delegation Holds Talks In China

Reports are just now emerging that a Taliban delegation visited Beijing recently for talks with Chinese officials.

Afghan and Pakistan media have been reporting since January 1 that a Taliban delegation led by Qari Din Mohammad from the Taliban political office in Doha went to China in late November to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani newspaper "The News International" reported on January 2 that the Taliban delegation arrived in China just after new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made a four-day official visit to China.

During Ghani's visit China proposed a "peace and reconciliation forum" that Afghan officials said would gather representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the Taliban leadership.

Reports on the Taliban delegation's visit to China noted that the Afghan government has not officially commented on China's proposal or the Taliban delegation's visit.

Afghan Channel One TV reported on January 3 that Shahzada Shahid, the spokesman for Afghanistan's High Peace Council said, "We welcome such visits and praise them. We want to launch inter-Afghan talks."

China, which shares a border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, is anxious to ensure stability along its southwestern frontier especially since Beijing faces a growing problem with the Muslim Uyghurs who live in western China.

Based on reporting by Afghan Channel One, Afghan Islamic Press, Khaama Press, and "The New International"