Ismail Khan: List of China meeting attendees not finalized
KABUL (TOLO News): Ismail Khan, a former Mujahideen leader and a prominent member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, on Monday said that the government has not yet finalized the list of attendees for the China meeting on Afghan peace that is expected to take place soon.
Seven people from the government and 18 representatives from political parties will be on the list, Ismail Khan told TOLOnews.
“About 25 people — from the government and political parties– will be part of the delegation, which is still being decided,” he said. “We must reach a decision this week. The list has not yet been announced.”
But on Thursday, Wahid Omar, President Ashraf Ghani’s senior advisor for public and strategic affairs, said that the Afghan government did have a finalized list of participants and that it is “very short,” but will represent the entire government and all Afghans.
“The delegation from the government is finalized and we talked to all sides to form a delegation that would be clear and beneficial,” Omar said.
Sources also said that the list has already been shared with the Chinese government.
Ismail Khan believes that the China meeting between Afghans would be more “important” than the earlier meeting in Moscow, which did not involve an intra-Afghan discussion.
“The China meeting will be more important that the Moscow summit. Of course, nothing will be decided, but it can provide an agenda for future meetings,” he said.
In the meantime, a former Taliban commander, Sayed Akbar Agha, who met with the Taliban recently in Qatar, believes that the Taliban will meet with the delegation in China because it involves access to high profile people.
“The Taliban wants to be involved in such meetings with government representatives and influential political figures,” he said.
The China meeting is expected to happen on November 21 in Beijing, according to sources at the Presidential Palace.
A meeting was originally scheduled for October 29 and 30, but the Afghan government asked China to delay the meeting for unknown reasons.
The Taliban announced that they were invited by the Chinese government and that a delegation from the group, led by the Taliban’s senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will attend the meeting.