Russia, China await ‘immediate success’ of US talks with Taliban on the Afghan peace process

Washington: China and Russia are awaiting the ‘immediate success’ of the talks between the United States and Taliban, which are aimed at achieving peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

“Both we and the Chinese are certainly interested in the immediate success of the US talks with the Taliban movement, five rounds of which were held in Doha. That’s why this is a key moment for further progress towards a stable peace in Afghanistan,” Russia’s Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov was quoted TASS news agency.

As soon as the US agrees with the Taliban over withdrawing half of its troops from Afghanistan, “we can start making next and more particular steps, leading to establishing peace in Afghanistan: this is ceasefire and a whole number of other steps, and the most important of them will be direct talks of a broad spectrum of Afghans with the Taliban movement,” he added.

A statement issued by the US Department State said that representatives of the US, China, and Russia met in Washington, on March 21 and 22, in order to exchange their views on the current status of the Afghan peace process and discuss common efforts to bring peace, prosperity, and security to Afghanistan.

In the meeting, the officials underscored their respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, as well as Afghanistan’s right to make its own political, security, and economic decisions, the statement read.

The United States, China, and Russia agreed to continue further discussions. However, the exact date and venue for the next meeting will be decided through diplomatic channels. The parties will continue to seek common efforts and coordination on the Afghan peace process, the statement added.

“The Taliban movement has said many times at its discussions with both the US and other [sides] that it wants to see serious guarantors of its future dealings with the United States. Among such guarantors they named Russia [and also] China, Pakistan, and Iran,” Kabulov said.

However, the envoy noted that there was no discussion on any particular form of providing such guarantees since progress in Afghan settlement has not reached that phase.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, took to Twitter and wrote, “Welcome the robust interest in Afghan Peace Process. Met with my counterparts from Russia and China and then the EU before we all came together for lunch. We respect Afghan sovereignty, want peace for all Afghans & seek an Afghanistan that is never a source of threat for any of us.”