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Taliban hail China’s new ambassador with fanfare, say it is a signal for others to determine relations

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Wednesday hailed China‘s new ambassador to Afghanistan with fanfare, saying his arrival is an indication for different nations to return ahead and set up relations with them.

The Taliban seized energy in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO forces withdrew after twenty years of struggle. Their leaders are underneath sanctions and no nation acknowledges them as Afghanistan’s official rulers. The nation’s seat on the United Nations remains to be held by the previous Western-backed authorities that was led by Ashraf Ghani.

Solely a handful of countries have working diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, together with China, the world’s second-largest economic system. The 2 sides have been open about their want for nearer ties, particularly industrial ones.

Ambassador Zhao Sheng’s automotive swept via the tree-lined driveway of the Presidential Palace escorted by a police convoy. He was greeted by uniformed troops and met top-ranking Taliban officers, together with Mohammad Hassan Akhund, who heads the administration, and Overseas Affairs Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

It’s the first time for the reason that Taliban takeover that an envoy to Kabul has been afforded such lavish protocol.

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Muttaqi mentioned the 2 nations had particular ties and that Zhao’s nomination was a “important step with a major message.” He didn’t elaborate additional.

The Taliban’s chief spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, advised The Related Press that it’s custom for brand spanking new ambassadors to current their credentials to the top of the nation.

“It additionally alerts to different nations to return ahead and work together with the Islamic Emirate,” mentioned Mujahid. “We should always set up good relations on account of good interactions and, with good relations, we are able to clear up all the issues which can be in entrance of us or coming sooner or later.”

He didn’t reply questions on what Zhao’s presence meant for the Taliban’s demand for official recognition.

The worldwide group, cautious of the Taliban’s rule after they had been final in energy greater than 20 years in the past, has withheld official recognition and Afghanistan’s property overseas have been frozen.

An announcement from China’s embassy in Afghanistan issued Wednesday urged the worldwide group to keep up its dialogue and encourage the nation to place in place an inclusive political framework, undertake average insurance policies, fight terrorism and develop pleasant exterior relations.

It mentioned sure nations have to “draw classes” from what occurred in Afghanistan, abandon double requirements on combating terrorism, return the nation’s abroad property, and elevate sanctions.

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