World Media

Russian Federation brings together Afghan officials, Taliban in talks

Russian Federation brings together Afghan officials, Taliban in talks

The Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan will be held on 9 November and representatives of the Afghan Taliban radical movement will take part in it, the Russian Foreign Ministry had said last week.

Talking to Taliban and justifying the talks by calling them unofficial and at the same time calling pro- resistance groups in Kashmir as proxies of Pakistan is enough to find contradictions in New Delhi's policies.

New Delhi and Moscow also resolved to launch joint development and capacity building projects in Afghanistan. But that meeting was not attended by Taliban representatives. "I have no doubts that the other participants of the Moscow format share this approach and that we all go by basic national interests of the Afghan people".

This is the first time that a Taliban delegation is taking part in such high-level global meeting, says Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman.

However, on a question on whether the Indian representatives, TCA Raghavan and Amar Sinha, would be talking to the Taliban agents, Kumar expressed surprise that some media reports had suggested this.

Mr. Raghavan was High Commissioner to Islamabad (2013-2015) and is now the Director General of the government-run Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) think-tank based in Delhi.

"Where did we say that there will be talks with the Taliban?"

Yesterday, Pakistan and Afghanistan held second meeting of the Refugee Working Group under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability at the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions in Islamabad.

Russian Federation had sent invitations to the talks to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the United States and the Afghan Taliban.

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"India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country".

The insurgent group fighting with Afghan forces and their US backers contests or controls half of Afghanistan, more than at any time since the Taliban was toppled in 2001 in an American-led invasion to destroy terrorist training camps run by Osama Bin Laden.

Reportedly, Friday's meet will see the participation of a five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, the head of the Taliban's political council in Qatar.

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov opened the meeting in a gilded conference room at Moscow's President-Hotel, where the two delegations sat around a circular table along with deputy foreign ministers from other regional countries, including China, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Nevertheless, VOA quotes the Trump administration as saying the us will attend in coordination with Kabul.

Newly appointed U.S. peace envoy Khalilzad has been trying to convince the Taliban to agree to negotiate an end to the war and there are fears the Russian meeting could derail those efforts.

Russian Federation is challenging the U.S.by hosting the Taliban at a Moscow peace conference in the latest source of friction between the two former Cold War foes.

In August, the Afghan government announced that Afghanistan and Russian Federation would co-chair proposed future talks in Moscow on Afghanistan's peace.

The last such meeting proposed for September 4 was called off at the last moment after the Afghan government pulled out.


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