Russia and US engage in talks with Taliban in China
The Russian foreign minister and a senior US diplomat are participating in meetings in China to discuss Afghanistan issues and will be joined by Taliban representatives.
A senior US diplomat will participate in a meeting in China discussing issues in Afghanistan with diplomats from China, Russia, and Pakistan, according to the US and Chinese foreign ministries on Tuesday.
In early March, China announced it would hold a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, that will group Afghanistan's neighboring countries.
The third of its kind meeting aims to contribute to the achievement of long-term stability in Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
A State Department spokesman indicated that US information indicates that China also invited representatives from the Taliban to the talks as well.
The US special representative for Afghanistan Thomas West will be in attendance at the talks.
Late Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Minister Sergei Lavrov had arrived in Tunchi to also participate in the talks.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, it is likely that Lavrov will touch on the Ukraine issue with attendees, in addition to the Afghan issue.
The meeting will be hosted by China's special envoy to Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
That meeting will be chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and attended by Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaki, and diplomats from Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Qatar.
Beijing has been maintaining friendly ties with the Taliban-led government after US forces withdrew from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has been struggling with poverty, demanding Biden to unfreeze 7 billion dollars worth of Afghan assets, which his administration will be splitting among families of 9/11 victims. None of the 9/11 terrorists were Afghan.
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In addition to contributing to the development of Afghanistan, China has aided the country with food, winter materials, COVID-19 vaccines, and medicines worth 200 million yuan.
Earlier this month, the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum signed a contract with the Chinese Metallurgical Group Corporation to mine copper.