Investment in Afghanistan is expected to be high on the agenda of the upcoming meeting between the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.
The third meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries (Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) will be held in Tunxi, Anhui province, east China, on March 30-31, 2022.
The participation of the Afghan Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Mouttaki, was confirmed during the trip of his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to Kabul. This is the highest-level visit by a Chinese official since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August.
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The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued after Wang Yi’s trip that the latter and Mouttaki discussed developing economic ties and investments in Afghanistan.
China could become the first major power to undertake large-scale projects in Afghanistanexperiencing a financial and humanitarian crisis since the departure of foreign forces led by the United States and the seizure of power by the Taliban.
“The Taliban eagerly await Chinese investment in mining, especially in the Mes Aynak copper mine. They put a lot of hope in China’s economic support for Afghanistan.”Hekmatullah Zaland, executive director of the Center for Strategic and Regional Studies in Kabul, told Arab News.
China has yet to recognize the Taliban, but Hekmatullah Zaland said hopes for the upcoming regional forum are also based on political support from Beijing.
“The Taliban also seek China’s political support internationally as a country that has influence over Afghanistan’s neighbors in particular,” he added. explained the latter.
Political analyst Abdelhai Qanit told Arab News that attracting investment is one of the Afghan authorities’ top priorities. “They will seek to convince China to invest more in Afghanistan. China also has that goal”, the latter stressed.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said earlier this week that, in organizing the third meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, “China hopes to gather more consensus on the Afghan issue from neighboring countries” to jointly stabilize the country.
The Chinese spokesman clarified that beijing hope “working on the Afghan side to build an open and inclusive political structure.”
The Taliban government still has no international recognition and the next meeting is unlikely to bring any from the Chinese side. “From China’s point of view, the time for recognition has not yet come”Torek Farhadi, a former adviser to the Afghan government, told Arab News.
“China wants an inclusive government in Kabul and sees long-term stability possible in this way”according to him.