Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman, told This Week in Asia that the group hopes to work with China to bring peace to Afghanistan and that it will honour its promise to prevent the country from becoming a terrorist staging ground.
Suhail stated, “We are willing to exchange thoughts with China on how to move forward in terms of strengthening our mutual relations, establishing regional peace, and China’s assistance in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.”
Suhail’s remarks come just days after an Islamic State suicide bombing killed at least 92 people, including 13 US military personnel, on the eve of the August 31 deadline for US forces to leave Afghanistan after 20 years.
“China, our big neighbour, has the potential to play a constructive and positive role in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation as well as the people’s economic development and prosperity. China is likely to play an important role.”
He reaffirmed the Taliban’s commitment to not allowing militant groups to use Afghanistan as a base for operations, saying the group has “sent a clear message to everybody” that “no one may use Afghanistan’s soil against neighbouring and other nations.”