Beijing: China on Monday vowed to help the Taliban “rebuild the country” during its first high-level face-to-face talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s Acting Deputy Prime Minister, in the Qatari capital of Doha, marking the first face-to-face talks between the two sides since the takeover of Afghanistan by the group.Also Read - RT-PCR Test, Mandatory Quarantine: How These States Brace to Tackle Omicron Variant | Full List Here

During the meeting, Wang Yi, also the State Councillor, said that Afghanistan is facing quadruple challenges, namely the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos, terrorist threats and governance difficulties, adding that overcoming these challenges requires more understanding and support from the international community, reports Xinhua news agency. Also Read - US, EU Express Concern at China's 'Problematic Actions' in Asia Pacific

Wang expressed his hope that the Taliban will further demonstrate openness and tolerance, unite all ethnic groups and factions in Afghanistan to work together for peaceful reconstruction, and effectively protect the rights and interests of women and children. China “supports the efforts to restore stability and rebuild the country,” Xinhua reported, citing Wang. Also Read - Ramiz Raja Puts His Weight Behind Afghanistan, Says Funding Will Continue To Support Players

The top Chinese official also urged the Taliban to adopt a friendly policy toward its neighbouring countries, and build a modern country that conforms to the wishes of the people as well as the trend of the times.

China always respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and supports the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and choose the development path, he said.

Attaching importance to the humanitarian difficulties facing Afghanistan at present, China urges the US and the West as a whole to lift sanctions, and calls on all parties to engage with the Taliban in a rational and pragmatic manner to help Afghanistan embark on a path of healthy development, Wang noted.

He expressed China’s willingness to continue to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan within its capacity and work with the international community to help the country alleviate temporary difficulties and realize economic reconstruction as well as independent development.

Wang emphasized that the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM), an international terrorist organisation listed by the UN Security Council, not only poses a real threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity, but also jeopardises the domestic stability and long-term stability in Afghanistan.

He said that he hopes and believes that the Taliban will make a clean break with the ETIM and other terrorist organisations, and take effective measures to resolutely crackdown on them.

For his part, Baradar briefed Wang on the current situation in Afghanistan, which he said is under control and improving, with government decrees being carried out effectively. The Afghan interim government is working hard to meet the needs of the people, and will learn from its historical experience to take a development path in line with its national conditions, said Baradar.

It has taken and will continue to take inclusive measures to expand the representation of the regime, he said, citing that most officials and technocrats of the former government have stayed in office, and more talents of all ethnic groups will be recruited to participate in the state governance in the future.

Meanwhile, Baradar said that the Taliban is willing to strengthen the efforts to protect the rights and interests of women and children, and will not deprive them of the rights to education and work. For now, women in medical institutions, airports and other places have resumed their work, and girls in primary and secondary schools in many provinces have returned to school, but they still face difficulties such as lack of facilities and funds, the Taliban official added.

Baradar expressed the hope that China and the international community will increase assistance to Afghanistan to help it overcome the humanitarian crisis and return to the right track of development. During his stay in Doha, Wang will also meet the Taliban’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

(With Agency Inputs)