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Kabul dithers on participation in Moscow talks

Kabul dithers on participation in Moscow talks

Nov 03, 2018 - 19:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Afghan government has not yet decided whether or not to participate in peace talks Russia is hosting on Nov 9 with a Talibaninfo-icon delegation from Doha.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Saturday that discussions regarding participation in the Moscow summit were underway.

“Our discussions are underway and we are working reach a result regarding participation in Moscow conference,” said Sibghatullah Ahmadi, MoFA spokesman.

He said the Moscow meeting would not be effective if it went without Afghanistaninfo-icon’s participation.

About participation of some political and influential figures from the country in the conference, Ahmadi said the government was not responsible for their participation. “They are influential persons and they have been invited to the conference in their own capacity,” he said.

A statement from former president Hamid Karzai office said the former president was participating in the Moscow conference.

But Pajhwok could not find out if Atta Mohammad Noor, former governor of Balkh province and incumbent executive head of the Jamiat-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistan (JIA), will participate in the Moscow huddle.

Russia said on Saturday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had agreed to send a group of senior politicians to peace talks in Moscow, at which a delegation representing the Taliban would be present.

Russia in August proposed holding multilateral peace talks in Moscow, and invited 12 countries and the Taliban to attend a summit the following month.

But the meeting was postponed after Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government.

In a statement on Saturday, Russia's foreign ministry said the talks were now confirmed to be held on Nov. 9.

“It will be the first time that a delegation from the Taliban’s political office in Doha will attend such a high-level international meeting," the foreign ministry said.

The ministry has invited several other countries to send representatives, including India, Iran, Pakistaninfo-icon, China and the United States.



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