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Taliban ready to take part in next Moscow meeting on Afghanistan — diplomat

November 12, 2018, 11:30 UTC+3

A diplomat says the Afghan government wanted to hold direct talks with the Taliban movement, but the Taliban refused

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the participants of the conference on Afghanistan in Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the participants of the conference on Afghanistan in Moscow

© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. The Taliban movement (terrorist organization, outlawed in Russia) is ready to take part in the next round of Moscow consultations on Afghanistan, Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov told TASS.

"Principally, the Taliban is ready," Kabulov said. "They like the idea very much, they are ready to take part."

According to the diplomat, Moscow expects that Kabul will send both the delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council and official government representatives. "This will make any inter-Afghan agreements more legitimate," Kabulov stressed.

The Afghan government demanded holding direct talks with the Taliban movement on the sidelines of the Moscow-format consultations, but the Taliban refused, he said. 

"The Afghan government demanded direct talks with representatives of the Taliban movement on the sidelines of these Moscow consultations," he said. "The Taliban’s leadership flatly refuses to talk with the current Afghanistan’s government, considering it to be the puppet one brought into power in Kabul by the Americans."

The second meeting of the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan was held on November 9. Taking part in it were deputy foreign ministers, special envoys and observers from Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, the US, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A delegation of the Taliban movement’s political office took part in an international meeting of this level for the first time.

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