Wahid Omar, President Ashraf Ghani's senior advisor for public and strategic affairs, on Thursday said that the Afghan government wants to gauge the Taliban’s will for the peace process, and “this could be seen in a ceasefire.”
Omar also said that the list of participants for the China meeting on Afghan peace has been finalized, adding that “the list is very short” but will represent the entire government and all Afghans.
He did not provide details about the list, but sources at the Presidential Palace confirmed that the number of attendees was between 15 and 20 people.
Omar mentioned that the Afghan government is not against peace talks, but it will prevent “a secret deal” under the name of peace, saying “There are friends saying that peace is what the people of Afghanistan need, and it’s not important how the peace comes about,’ but it is important to know how.”
“We want to maintain the achievements that we gained in the past 18 years” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang has said on Thursday that "China firmly supports the broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.”
“Respecting the interests of all parties, we stand ready to provide facilitation and assistance to the peace and reconciliation process, including intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiation. We will keep you updated if there is any more information on this,” the Chinese representative said.
A meeting was originally meant to be held on October 29 and 30 in Beijing, but the Afghan government asked China to delay the meeting for unknown reasons.
The Taliban announced that they were invited by the Chinese government and that a delegation from the group, led by Taliban’s senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will attend the meeting.