An Afghan Taliban delegation recently visited China at the invitation of Beijing, a Pakistani newspaper reported Tuesday.
This is the latest in a series of reported visits by the insurgent movement to China which has been playing a role to broker a peace deal between Kabul and Taliban.
Pakistan’s Express Tribune citing unnamed Taliban sources said that the delegation included five members. They were identified as Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar, Jan Mohammad Madani, Salam Hanafi and Saleh.
“The visit was part of relations of the political office with European countries such as Norway, Germany, France, Britain as well as neighbouring and regional countries,” the paper quoted a Taliban source as saying. “But these relations are focused on bringing about peace in Afghanistan and resolving issue through negotiations.”
China has long been concerned that instability in Afghanistan will spill over into its territory. China is a member of a four-country group that tried to restart peace talks with the Taliban, effort that broke down last year.
Taliban delegation has reportedly made several trips to China in recent years apparently over peace talks.
The recent visit is reported as China’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Deng Xijun during his visit to Kabul last month said that his country had encouraged the Taliban to join peace talks.
He also urged Pakistan to revive quardilateral talks.