China welcomes US-Taliban peace deal


BEIJING: China welcomes the signing of a US-Taliban agreement as a positive step in achieving a political solution of the Afghan issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Representatives of the United States and the Taliban on Saturday signed the long-awaited deal in Qatar’s capital city of Doha, calling for a gradual withdrawal of US troops if the Taliban negotiates with the Afghan government and cuts ties with terrorist groups.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing that China welcomes the agreement and firmly supports the broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

The spokesperson expressed the hope that the deal can facilitate a lasting peace on the land of Afghanistan.

Zhao said foreign troops in Afghanistan should withdraw in an orderly and responsible way to ensure a smooth transition in the Afghan situation and avoid a security vacuum, which terrorist organisations may take advantage of.
Meanwhile, he said, the international community should continue to support and participate in the reconstruction process in Afghanistan.

“China calls on the Afghan Taliban and all parties in the country to grasp the opportunity to start the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible, and to negotiate for political and security arrangements acceptable to all so as to realise lasting peace and stability of Afghanistan,” said the spokesperson.

He said China is willing to work with the international community to continually provide support and assistance to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The US side and the Government of Afghanistan also released a joint declaration on Saturday in Kabul. When asked for comments, Zhao said that China will continue to work as a supporter, mediator and convenience provider of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and play a constructive role on the basis of respecting the will of all parties in Afghanistan. (Xinhua/ANI)