President Ashraf Ghani in a phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday agreed to a meeting which will be held in Beijing and will include a Taliban delegation to discuss Afghanistan’s peace agreement, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
The meeting, to be held in the “near future,” will be the first time that China hosts delegations from both the Kabul government and the Taliban to exchange views on the peace process.
“The date of the meeting will be announced by China. The Afghan government will soon share a list of its participants with the Chinese government,” Sediqqi added.
Some politicians said there are differences over the formation of the delegation which will travel to China for the meeting.
“We are aware that the (Afghan) government and Hamid Karzai do not agree on the list (of participants),” said Sayed Akbar Agha, head of Shorai Nejat Afghanistan, a political movement in Kabul.
“One side makes one list and the other side makes another list and this does not help the peace process,” he said.
Along with China, Afghanistan’s neighbor Iran has a stake in the Afghan peace process, say analysts, but Iran reportedly turned down an invitation to the Moscow-hosted meetings that included US representatives.
Quoted in a report by Iran Front Page, Seyyed Rasoul Mousavi, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s special assistant and Director General of the Southeast Asian Department, said Iran has twice refused invitations to participate in meetings on Afghanistan.
“A four-party meeting was held in Moscow with China, the US, Russia and Pakistan in attendance, and Iran was also invited to take part in the session, but the Islamic Republic declined the invitation,” he said as quoted by Iran Front Page.
“They (Iranian officials) believe that the peace process which is run by Mr. Khalilzad is not a peace process, but it is an attempt for changing the face of fighters from Taliban to Daesh,” a Kabul-based analyst Waheed Muzhda said.