KABUL – A nine-man Taliban delegation traveled to China to discuss the recently canceled peace negotiations with the United States and the overall peace process in Afghanistan, the group announced Sunday.
“A nine-member delegation from the political office, led by the Mullah Baradar, Head of the political office have traveled to China and today met with Chines Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Deng Xijun,” the spokesperson for the insurgent group in Doha posted to his Twitter account.
Both parties discussed the negotiations between the Taliban and the US in Qatar, which were suspended this month by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s decision came in the wake of an attack by the insurgents on Kabul that left one US soldier dead, according to the source.
“Chinese Special Envoy for Afghanistan called the US-Taliban draft agreement a good platform for a peaceful solution of the Afghanistan war and he supported it,” Shaheen said.
Meanwhile, Mullah Baradar said “we held negotiations for a peaceful end of war in Afghanistan, and reached a comprehensive agreement.”
“If now the American President withdraws from his... promise, then he will be responsible for all bloodshed which happens in Afghanistan. We will defend our nation, country, and Islamic values,” he added.
The visit comes a week before the presidential elections in Afghanistan, scheduled for Saturday.
This is the second visit a Taliban delegation pays to China over the past few months as representatives of the insurgent leaders met for the first visit in June with Chinese officials to discuss the peace process in Afghanistan.
The Taliban had refused to hold talks with the Afghan government except for their first and lone meeting in 2015 in Pakistan.
Those negotiations were suspended shortly after with the death of Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s founder.