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China: Taliban Envoys Discussed Peace  09/23 06:16

   Taliban envoys visited Beijing to discuss peace efforts in Afghanistan with 
Chinese officials, the foreign ministry said Monday.

   BEIJING (AP) -- Taliban envoys visited Beijing to discuss peace efforts in 
Afghanistan with Chinese officials, the foreign ministry said Monday.

   The delegation was led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the 
Taliban and head of its political office in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar.

   Baradar and Chinese foreign ministry officials exchanged views on the 
"process of advancing peace in Afghanistan," said a ministry spokesman, Geng 
Shuang. He gave no details.

   Geng appealed to the United States and Taliban to maintain the momentum of 
peace negotiations and said China was ready to "play a constructive role."

   U.S.-Taliban talks over a peace deal recently collapsed.

   Beijing supports negotiations to "realize national reconciliation and peace 
and stability at an early date," Geng said. "China will continue to play 
constructive roles to this end."

   Afghanistan is holding a presidential election on Saturday --- a vote the 
Taliban vehemently opposes. The insurgent group has warned Afghans not to vote 
in the election and said their fighters would target election campaigns as well 
as polling stations.


(KR)

 
 
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