China has been in talks with the Taliban over plans, begun under the previous foreign-backed government, over a possible huge copper mine in eastern Afghanistan…reports Asian Lite News
Afghanistan’s acting commerce minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi has said the Taliban administration wants to join China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. It will send a technical team to China for talks, he added.
Azizi told Reuters that they had requested China to allow Afghanistan to be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Belt and Road Initiative. He also said the two sides were holding technical discussions.
Taliban officials and ministers have at times travelled to regional meetings, mostly those focused on Afghanistan, but the Belt and Road Forum is among the highest-profile multilateral summits it has been invited to attend, The News reported.
The impoverished country could offer a wealth of coveted mineral resources. A mines minister estimated in 2010 that Afghanistan had untapped deposits, ranging from copper to gold and lithium, worth between $1 trillion and $3 trillion. It is not clear how much they are worth today, The News reported.
China has been in talks with the Taliban over plans, begun under the previous foreign-backed government, over a possible huge copper mine in eastern Afghanistan.
Azizi will continue discussions in Beijing on plans to build a road through the Wakhan corridor, a thin, mountainous strip in northern Afghanistan, to provide direct access to China, Akhundzada said.
Officials from China, the Taliban and neighbouring Pakistan said in May they would like Belt and Road to include Afghanistan and for the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to be extended across the border to Afghanistan, The News reported.
Azizi encouraged Chinese investment in resource-rich Afghanistan, highlighting lithium, copper, and iron.
He said security is a top priority for the Taliban-led government, enabling travel to previously restricted industrial, agricultural, and mining provinces. At the Belt and Road Forum, Afghanistan and 34 other nations joined forces to advance digital economy and green development.