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Exert pressure on Taliban, Kabul tells Moscow

Exert pressure on Taliban, Kabul tells Moscow

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Aug 22, 2018 - 13:39

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon national security advisor (NSA) Hanif Atmar on Wednesday called on Russia to exert pressure on the Talibaninfo-icon to arrive at the negotiating table.

Atmar met the Russian ambassador in Kabul, Alexander Mantytski and discussed with him the Afghanistan peace process and Kabul-Moscow relations, a statement from the NSA office said.

The statement quoted Mantytski as saying his country was ready to help the Afghanistan government make the peace process ‘a success.’

The meeting comes amid reports that a Taliban delegation from Qatar is expected to take part in major talks on the future of Afghanistan in Moscow starting from Sept 4.

Hanif Atmar, thankful to Russia for its support in advancing the Afghan reconciliation process, urged Moscow to mount pressure on the Taliban to arrive at direct talks with the Afghan government.

He said the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan and the cultivation and smuggling of narcotics had paved the ground for the Taliban to operate.

The Afghan NSA believed if the Taliban ceased fighting, it would help limit and suppress foreign militants.  He also urged Pakistaninfo-icon’s sincere role with regard to the Afghanistan peace process and talks.

The Russian ambassador said peace in Afghanistan was in the interest of the region and that Moscow was ready to extend all cooperation to Kabul in this regard.

The next month’s peace talks in Moscow are expected to be attended by regional powers including China, Pakistan and Iran.

However, according to reports, neither the US nor the UK, who have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001, will have a presence at the talks.

Earlier, Russia’s presidential representative to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, confirmed the Taliban had been invited to the talks.

A source close to the Taliban confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News that a delegation from the Taliban’s political office in Doha would attend the talks in Moscow.

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