Scheduling reasons behind absence at NSAs meet, says China

India hosting high-level dialogue to review measures to address security challenges

Updated - November 09, 2021 07:06 pm IST

Published - November 09, 2021 02:49 pm IST - HONG KONG

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. File

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. File

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that “scheduling reasons” were behind Beijing giving a miss to the regional security dialogue being hosted by New Delhi on Wednesday.

Explained | Why is Delhi holding an NSA meet on Afghanistan?

National Security Advisers (NSAs) of Russia, Iran and five Central Asian nations are participating in the meet hosted by NSA Ajit Doval. Pakistan said it would not attend the meeting .

Asked about China’s absence, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said it was “inconvenient for China to attend the meeting due to scheduling reasons”. “We have already given our reply to the Indian side,” he added, without elaborating further on the meet.

While both top Chinese diplomat and Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi are this week attending an annual four-day meeting of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee in Beijing, which opened on Monday, the Foreign Ministry did not say why other top security officials were not attending the meeting in their stead, which both sides had discussed.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Wednesday’s “high-level dialogue will review and deliberate upon measures to address relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability”.

Pakistan and China, which will not be present, have increasingly been aligning their strategies and diplomacy on the Afghan issue. Mr. Wang, the Foreign Minister, in September virtually addressed the “first meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan” hosted by his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and attended by officials from Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

He also spoke at the second meeting held on October 27 and hosted by Iran, which was also attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. China will host the third round of this new mechanism early next year.

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