Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Taliban Attends Peace Talks In Russia For First Time, No Progress Reported

Sergey Lavrov said the meeting is meant to seek paths to national reconciliation in Afghanistan Sergey Lavrov said the meeting is meant to seek paths to national reconciliation in Afghanistan
Faye Gross | 10 November, 2018, 09:55

Reportedly, Friday's meet will see the participation of a five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, the head of the Taliban's political council in Qatar.

The spokesman said that on one hand, New Delhi accuses various resisting forces including Taliban of being Islamic "radicals" and calls them a threat to world peace but on the other hand engages itself with them and calls the talks non-official.

A member of the High Peace Council delegation is the country's former minister for women's rights, Habiba Sarabi. The presence of both sides "will be an important contribution to providing favorable conditions for the start of direct talks between the government and the Taliban movement", he said.

Talking to Taliban and justifying the talks by calling them unofficial and at the same time calling pro- resistance groups in Kashmir as proxies of Pakistan is enough to find contradictions in New Delhi's policies.

Pakistan's foreign office has confirmed Islamabad's participation in the talks.

Diplomats from seven countries gave speeches during the meeting: Pakistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Muhemmed Aejaz, Iranian Foreign Ministry top official for Western Asia Rasul Eslami, China's Special Envoy for Afghanistan Deng Xijun, Kazakhstan's First Deputy Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Kyrgyzstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Nurlan Abdrahmanov, Tajikistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Zohir Ozod Saidzoda, and Uzbekistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Ismatulla Irgashev.

Announcing a five-member delegation for the Moscow talks, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) said in a statement, "This conference is not about holding negotiations with any party whatsoever; rather it is about finding a peaceful solution to the issue of Afghanistan..."

This week, Prime Minister Imran Khan held meetings with Chinese president, prime minister, chairman national people's congress and vice president and discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and global issues, including possibility of talks with India, situation in Afghanistan, and counter terrorism cooperation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and representatives of both the Afghan government and the Taliban pose for a photo prior to worldwide talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on November 9, 2018.

Federal judge in Montana blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline
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In August, the Afghan government announced that Afghanistan and Russian Federation would co-chair proposed future talks in Moscow on Afghanistan's peace. Its representatives won't meet directly with the Taliban officials, he said.

Highlighting importance of the APAPPS for furthering bilateral relations, the two sides agreed to utilise the forum to deepen engagement, communication and understanding for early return and resettlement of Afghan refugees and to promote cooperation under various working groups of the framework.

The push for India's involvement is believed to have come directly from the Kremlin.

There are reports that Russian Federation has also invited some of Afghanistan's mainstream politicians to the summit.

He also denied reports of deliveries of Russian weapons to the Taliban, saying that they are not true.

The Moscow event brought up some hard history.

That history was on display in person in the Moscow hotel, where the High Peace Council delegation was led by Haji Deen Mohammad, a former Mujahedeen commander, now sitting in traditional dress amid the lobby's heavy Soviet décor.

Afghan Ambassador to Russia Qayum Kochai joined the group in Moscow. "I wish. I wish", Kochai said.

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