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Taliban say won’t meet HPC delegation in Moscow

Taliban say won’t meet HPC delegation in Moscow

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Nov 08, 2018 - 17:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon on Thursday said their representatives would not meet with the High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) delegation at a multilateral meeting hosted by Russia to discuss Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The Taliban have officially confirmed they would attend the multilateral meeting in Moscow on Friday, but a spokesman for the insurgent group clarified Tuesday its delegates will not engage in any Afghan peace and reconciliation talks at the Moscow gathering.

Zabihullah Mujahid said a high-ranking delegation from the Taliban’s Qatar-based office will travel to the Russian capital to “partake” in the Friday meeting.

 “This conference is not about negotiating with any particular side, rather it is a conference about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary and ending the American occupation,” Mujahid asserted.

Moscow has invited 12 nations and the Taliban to the meeting. The United States and the Afghan government have both turned down the invitation. Pakistaninfo-icon, Iran, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are among the expected participants.

Though the Afghan government will be absent, but a four-member HPC delegation on Thursday arrived in Moscow to attend the peace summit.

Mujahid in a statement received by Pajhwok Afghan News said their five-member delegation would attend the Moscow summit.

He said the Taliban delegation included Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, Mualvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Mualvi Shahbuddin Delawar, Mualvi Zia-ul-Rahman Madani and Mohammad Sohail Shahin.

The Taliban delegation would clarify their stance about the foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, the statement said.

The Taliban in their statement said no negotiations would be held with the HPC delegation and the meeting leadership would be not with the Kabul administration.

“Diplomatic efforts like this prove that Taliban are an active and independent force in the political area”, the source said.

mds/ma

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