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Afghanistan: China hosts international talks, Extended Troika to discuss humanitarian crisis

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In the midst of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Afghanistan is still facing a worsening humanitarian crisis under the leadership of the Taliban, which regained control in 2021. China is set to host international talks, including an Extended Troika, to discuss the humanitarian crisis.

China will be hosting two international meetings in Tunxi to discuss Afghanistan’s worsening humanitarian and economic crisis. This comes as Beijing seeks to make a diplomatic push for Afghanistan’s economic stability and development under the insurgent group.

The foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries will be attending the two-day meeting – Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Diplomats from Indonesia and Qatar will also be attending the meeting hosted by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. The Taliban’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, will also be attending the discussions.

There will be a separate meeting for the “Extended Troika” for the special representatives for Afghanistan from China, the US, and Russia, according to China’s foreign ministry.

“China, the US, Russia, and Pakistan are all countries with significant influence on the Afghan issue,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

A spokesperson for the US State Department said Tom West, who is the US special envoy for Afghanistan, will be attending the meeting. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov arrived Wednesday for the international talks at Tunxi but has yet to confirm if he will attend the Afghan meetings.

The talks also come amidst the insurgent group’s reversal to reopen secondary schools for girls, which drew international condemnation. US officials also canceled a meeting with the Taliban in Doha in response to the group’s reversal on the reopenings of secondary schools.

As a result of the Taliban’s shutdown of secondary schools for girls until further notice, the World Bank has suspended four projects in Afghanistan that are worth $600 million. The projects aimed to improve the country’s healthcare, education, and agriculture.

Afghans also staged protests in front of the country’s education ministry, calling to reopen schools for girls. The insurgent group cited that the schools for girls would be closed until a curriculum was made in accordance with the group’s interpretation of Islam and Afghan traditions.

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