Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Kabul on unannounced visit
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Kabul on unannounced visit

KABUL: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Kabul on Thursday morning, officials said, on a trip that had not been previously reported.

The visit comes just a week before Beijing holds a two-day conference of Afghanistan's neighbours on March 30-31 to discuss how to help the Taliban government. According to reports, Pakistan and Iran had previously held similar gatherings of these neighbouring countries following the Taliban's control.

Wang's visit is the first by a senior Chinese official since the Taliban took control of Kabul in August, and it comes after a three-day visit to Islamabad, where he was a special guest at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's foreign ministers conference, which ended Wednesday.

When Wang and a high-level team arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi greeted them. According to the state news agency, the two sides will hold talks on critical issues, with an emphasis on China's role in stability and development.

FM Wang recently visited Kabul in June 2017, shortly after a massive truck explosion killed and injured a large number of people. He attempted to defuse tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan after gunfights in May 2017 strained relations. According to the report, the Chinese foreign minister's visit may provide a diplomatic boost to the Taliban government, which has yet to be recognised by any country.

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