03:21 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Chinese Special representative for Afghanistan, Deng Xijun listens to Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbanion (unseen) as he chairs the second round of four-way peace talks meeting at the Presidential palace in Kabul on January 18, 2016

    Beijing Bewildered by US Decision to Scrap Afghan Special Envoy Post

    © AFP 2019 / SHAH MARAI
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    Beijing is astonished by the news that Washington decided to close down the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), as it comes at a time when the United States is preparing to send more troops to Afghanistan, Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Deng Xijun said Monday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — Last week, the Washington Post newspaper reported that US Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan Laura Miller was set to leave her post on June 23, adding that the State Department would eliminate the SRAP completely.

    "I read the report when I was in Islamabad and accompanied [Foreign] Minister Wang Yi. The report said that the office of the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan was closed down. And Ms. Miller left her post. I sincerely do not know what would happen to the US policy on Afghanistan. I am interested to know how Afghanistan’s government would react to the news, because the United States plays an important role in the Afghan issue. What now if the office is closed? Does this mean a major change in the US policy?" Deng told reporters.

    He noted that the United States’ actions raise questions about the manner in which Washington intends to settle the Afghan issue, since the US envoy was supposed to promote peace negotiations.

    "I honestly do not know if the United States would give more attention to the military side rather than promoting negotiation. Though Ms. Miller had told me very clearly here in Beijing that the new US administration still considers political settlement as the only way to peace and stability in Afghanistan," Deng said.

    During the weekend, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Pakistan, convincing both Islamabad and Kabul to establish a China-mediated crisis management mechanism that would enhance dialogue between the two countries.

    US media reported on June 15 that Pentagon plans to send another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan.


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