Afghan leaders, Taliban attend peace talks in Moscow
RUSSIA on Friday said no one should play “geopolitical games” in Afghanistan as Moscow hosted a major conference to create “favourable conditions” for the start of direct peace talks with the Taliban whose representatives were present at the meeting which was attended by India for the first time.
Opening the second Moscow meeting on Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia and the countries of the region will continue to do everything possible to launch dialogue between Afghanistan’s Govt and the Taliban, which is banned in Russia. “We are determined to make every possible effort to facilitate the opening of a new page in the history of Afghanistan,” was quoted as saying by the Staterun Tass news agency.
Addressing the gathering, Lavrov said the conference was “aimed at building an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue in order to advance the national reconciliation process.” The US Embassy in Moscow has sent a diplomat
to observe Friday’s discussions at the meeting which is being attended by representatives from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan and some other countries. India’s former envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan are
representing New Delhi at the Moscow meeting at a “nonofficial level”.
India’s consistent policy has been that the peace talks should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, (C), poses for a photo with the participants of the conference on Afghanistan bringing together representatives of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in Moscow, on Friday. The conference marks Moscow’s attempt to get the Afghan authorities and the Taliban together at a table. The US Embassy in Moscow has sent a diplomat to observe the discussions.