Taliban, Afghan leaders meet for talks in Moscow

Taliban, Afghan leaders meet for talks in Moscow

Taliban, Afghan leaders meet for talks in Moscow

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday confirmed the participation and said, "Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level". Kumar also slammed the opposition parties for their remarks in this regard and questioned, "Don't know how are people concluding that India will hold talks with the Taliban".

The meeting on Friday demonstrated Moscow's renewed aspirations in Afghanistan nearly 30 years after the Soviet Union withdrew its battered forces.

"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".

An official U.S. statement, released on Tuesday, said the upcoming Geneva Conference on Afghanistan and joint efforts to advance the Afghan peace process were the two key items Ambassador Wells discussed with Pakistani officials in Islamabad on Nov 6-7.

India is already believed to be in indirect negotiations with the Taliban through tribal elders to secure the release of seven Indian workers allegedly abducted by the group in the northern province of Baghlan in May this year.

India's move of sending former diplomats to a meet where the Taliban delegates are expected to be present perhaps reflects a delicate act of balance and a sign of our commitment towards peace.

Russian media meanwhile said the Russian Foreign Ministry had sent invitations to Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, the USA and other countries.

The talks came while the Taliban have increased the pressure on Afghan police and troops this year, even as they have also shown a tentative willingness to hold talks with the United States. 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.

Russian Federation hosted representatives from the Taliban and the Afghan government along with other countries Friday in hopes of ending the 17-year civil war in the country while challenging the United States to take part.

A sustainable peace requires that all Afghans have a say in their country's future, the statement said.

"The meeting will discuss the end of American invasion, identify problems and deliberate on regional peace", their statement read.

Apart from the Taliban political leadership based in Doha, and the HPC from Kabul, the Russian government has invited delegations from India, Pakistan, the U.S., China, Iran and five Central Asian Republics.

Beyond the political outreach, US military officials have recently accused Russian Federation of supplying the Taliban with weapons.

Originally opposed to the idea of holding talks with the Taliban, Afghanistan's government had pulled out of the scheduled negotiations on September 4.

Haji Din Mohammad Azizullah, head of the Kabul delegation, confirmed that he had "brief talks" with the Taliban members at a working lunch, characterising the talks as "friendly", according to Anadolu Agency.

The Afghan foreign ministry emphasised that the council did not represent the Afghan government at the meeting, however, but was acting as a "national" non-government institution.

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