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China Can Play Important Role in Peace Process: Karzai

President Hamid Karzai

KABUL – Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that China as a “neighbour and a major world power can play a very important role in facilitating and promoting the peace process in Afghanistan.” In an interview with Chinese Phoenix Satellite Television, President Karzai has described peace as a must and necessity for any nation; requesting the Chinese role in the peace process of Afghanistan, Karzai’s office said in a statement Sunday.

In response to a question on Afghanistan being known as the graveyard of empires, President Karzai said, “We, as you said rightly, are known as the graveyard of empires, not because we wanted Afghanistan to be the graveyard for those empires but because of the way those empires behaved worse and the consequences were the collapse of those empires.”

“Afghanistan views China not only as a good neighbour, as a neighbour that has been doing good for the Afghan people for long but also as the second biggest economy in the world, as a rising superpower of the world and a superpower that is a neighbour of Afghanistan,” Karzai said.

The President stressed that the geopolitical position of Afghanistan could be used in this extremely significant part of the world for the betterment of the Afghan people and for the betterment of the region, the statement said. The Afghan government has been pushing hard to get the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal before the end of 2014, but the Taliban has consistently refused to talk with the Karzai regime, referring to it as a puppet government.

Last week, the Afghan government officially asked the Taliban to put forward members to open its political office in Qatar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has said that the government supports the plan to open the office, “but it’s time for them [the Taliban] to announce their readiness for the peace talks.”

Earlier this month President Hamid Karzai visited Qatar to further plans to open the office in the capital city of Doha. Karzai met with the Qatari emir who agreed that the office will only be used for peace talks and not for any other purposes, according to a statement from Karzai’s office.

The Taliban office is seen as a key step in bringing the insurgent group into negotiations for a peace deal with the Afghan government. Although the plan has its critics who doubt that it will make any difference. (Tolonews)

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