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China highlights importance of dialogue with Taliban

Referring to the US-Taliban talks, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui expressed concern about Washington’s plans to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan

BEIJING, April 18. /TASS/. Beijing believes it is essential to arrange contacts between major powers and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) and supports the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan as a venue for negotiations with the group, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told reporters on Thursday.

"The fact that such a platform for negotiations, for dialogue between major powers and the Taliban was created in Moscow is very important," he said answering a question from TASS.

He noted, however, that it is too early to speak about the results of these talks, because they depend, to a large extent, on the situation on the ground. He also pointed to the role of such platforms as the UN Security Council and the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. "We have a special SCO group to resolve the Afghan issue. We need to coordinate our stances on that platform, pool our efforts and capabilities to maintain peace and dialogue," the high-ranking diplomat stressed.

Referring to the US-Taliban talks, he expressed concern about Washington’s plans to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. "Who will protect the Afghan government and provide financial support to it after the US troops’ pullout? The most important thing is the Afghan people’s interests, but the Americans ignore them and want to protect their own," he concluded.

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