China said on Tuesday that it is not attending the security dialogue on Afghanistan convened by India due to “scheduling reasons". India will host the security czars from Russia, Iran and five Central Asian countries for a security dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday that will explore firming up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August.
“Due to scheduling reasons, it is inconvenient for China to attend the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here when asked about reasons why China is not attending the ‘Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan’ hosted by India. “We have already given our reply to the Indian side, Wang said.
The security dialogue, to be chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, will also be attended by top security officials of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi that the dialogue will witness expanded participation of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and the countries will be represented by their respective NSAs or secretaries of the Security Councils.
“The high-level dialogue will review the security situation in the region arising from recent developments in Afghanistan. It will deliberate upon measures to address the relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability," it said in a statement.
China, in coordination with Pakistan and Russia, has been maintaining close contacts with the Afghan Taliban though it is yet to recognise its interim administration in Kabul. Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with acting Deputy Prime Minister of Taliban’s interim administration in Afghanistan Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in the Qatari capital of Doha.
This was the second-time Wang met Baradar. They first met in China’s Tianjin city in July this year, ahead of Taliban’s take-over of power in Kabul. China has also pledged USD 31 million worth of aid to Afghanistan, including food supplies and coronavirus vaccines.