China Played Host to Secret Taliban TalksPosted: May 25, 2015
Margherita Stancati reports: Afghanistan’s most prominent peace envoy held secret talks with former Taliban officials in China last week, accelerating regional efforts to bring the insurgency to the negotiating table, according to individuals briefed on the matter by the warring parties.
The two-day meeting, which took place in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi, was aimed at discussing preconditions for a possible peace process, those people said.
“These were talks about talks,” one diplomat said.
The meeting was significant for another reason: It was facilitated by Pakistan’s intelligence agency in an apparent show of goodwill aimed at a negotiated solution to the insurgency.
People familiar with the meeting said Chinese officials and representatives of Pakistan’s spy agency—the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI—also attended the talks on May 19 and 20 in Urumqi, the capital of China’s western Xinjiang region. Chinese and Pakistani officials weren’t immediately reachable for comment…(read more)