MOSCOW HOSTS TALKS BE­TWEEN MIL­I­TANTS AND AFGHAN ENVOYS

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - TOP STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD -

MOSCOW Sit­ting be­tween Afghan envoys and their fierce ri­vals from the Tal­iban move­ment, Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov on Fri­day promised to work for a united and peace­ful Afghanistan, show­cas­ing his coun­try’s re­turn to the diplo­matic fore­front of the 17-year war.

Bring­ing both sides of the Afghan con­flict to Moscow is a ma­jor suc­cess for Rus­sia.

Rus­sia’s un­prece­dented host­ing of the peace con­fer­ence al­most 30 years af­ter it pulled out of Afghanistan comes af­ter ef­forts of the United States and oth­ers re­peat­edly failed to stem the con­stant fight­ing.

“Rus­sia stands for pre­serv­ing the one and un­di­vided Afghanistan, in which all of the eth­nic groups that in­habit this coun­try would live side by side peace­fully and hap­pily,” Lavrov said, sit­ting be­tween a five­man Tal­iban del­e­ga­tion and four mem­bers of Afghanistan’s High Peace Coun­cil, a gov­ern­men­tap­pointed body charged with over­see­ing the peace process.

The Moscow meet­ing was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 11 coun­tries, in­clud­ing re­gional heavy­weights China, Iran and Pak­istan.

Ahead of the meet­ing, the Tal­iban state­ment de­scribed the gath­er­ing as a fo­rum to lay out its de­mands for a peace process, in­clud­ing its ob­jec­tions to the pres­ence of U.S. and other for­eign mil­i­tary forces in the coun­try. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the U.S. Em­bassy in Moscow will at­tend, but only as an ob­server.

BY· AMIE FERRISROTMAN (C) 2018, THE WASH­ING­TON POST NOV 09, 2018 -

Rus­sia’s For­eign Min­is­ter Lavrov speaks as he at­tends a con­fer­ence on Afghanistan bring­ing to­gether rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Afghan au­thor­i­ties and the Tal­iban in Moscow (Wash­ing­ton Post.com)

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