Staying away from the meeting of regional NSAs in Delhi, Pakistan is hosting a separate meeting on Afghanistan which will be attended Thursday by diplomats from the US, China, Russia and the Taliban’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.
According to Pakistan daily Express Tribune, Islamabad is set to host them “as part of diplomatic efforts aimed at preparing the ground for the international community’s recognition of the Taliban government”.
Beijing too skipped the Delhi meeting of NSAs, but will go to Islamabad for the gathering of the ‘extended troika’.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a media briefing in Beijing that “China supports Pakistan in hosting the extended troika meeting”.
“We support all efforts conducive for stability in Afghanistan to building up consensus in the world,” he said. China’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Yue Xiao Yong, will attend the meeting hosted by Pakistan.
A statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the visit was taking place as a follow-up to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to Kabul on October 21.
The talks will centre on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, with focus on enhanced trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts and regional connectivity.
“In view of the prevalent situation, Pakistan has been urging the international community to urgently provide humanitarian assistance and economic support to alleviate the sufferings of the Afghan people,” the Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.
Pakistan did not attend the Delhi meeting. Last week, Pakistan National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf said he would not attend, and targeted India saying “a spoiler can’t be a peacemaker”.
China, on the other hand, had attended the two previous meetings of NSAs in Iran, but this time it cited “scheduling issues” to convey that it would not participate. Beijing told Delhi it was “open to maintaining contacts with India on Afghanistan through bilateral or multilateral channels”.