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Moscow to host meeting on Afghan peac

Moscow to Host Talks as Negotiations Gather Momentum

KABUL – Senior Taliban leaders and Afghan politicians are expected to travel to Moscow on Tuesday for talks on Afghanistan peace, Reuters reported Thursday.
According to the report, the Afghan government has not been invited so as to ensure the participation of the Taliban.
One Russian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that “at this sensitive stage, it was best to not have Afghan government officials at the table.”
The Taliban have until now refused to meet with the Afghan government to discuss peace, branding the administration puppets of the United States.
Reuters reported that the Moscow talks is Russia’s way to promote its role of power broker in what a US official called an attempt to “muddle” the US-backed peace process.
These talks follow on the heels of the US-Taliban talks in Doha, Qatar last week.
Early this week, the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Afghan media on last week’s discussions and said the key for finding the solution for Afghan problems is now in the hands of Afghans.
He also said a framework had been drawn up in terms of moving forward.
This sparked a sharp response by many including Amrullah Saleh, former NDS Chief and President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate in the July elections.
He said Khalilzad’s statement that “the key for peace is in Kabul” was a shallow evaluation – of the peace process.
Mohammad Mohaqiq, who has retained his post as second deputy to the CEO, despite being sacked by the president earlier this month, also voiced his concern and said Khalilzad should be given time to solve the “Afghan problem” but warned that current efforts will not end proxy wars in Afghanistan if there is no regional consensus on peace.
Mohaqiq meanwhile is one of the Afghan politicians expected to travel to Moscow for the talks, Reuters reported.
Reuters reported that Mohaqiq along with other Ghani critics, Mohammad Ismail Khan, a prominent member of Jamiat party, and Atta Mohammad Noor, former Balkh governor, will attend the Moscow summit.
The latest move comes after the Moscow summit on Afghanistan’s peace in November last year where representatives of the Taliban and envoys from 11 countries including the United States participated.
A delegation from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) also attended the meeting – but once again the Afghan government was not represented.
(Sahar News)

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