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Afghan government seeks launch of talks with Taliban — Russian diplomat

February 16, 2017, 11:53 UTC+3

Russia will welcome US decision to join regional consultations on Afghanistan, a diplomat says

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© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The possibility of resuming talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban was discussed at six-party consultations involving Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran and India, held in Moscow on February 15, Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told TASS.

Kabulov, who is Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, added that "the Afghan government seeks to resume talks." "We, the regional powers, came together with Afghanistan to assess the possible ways and methods to coordinate our steps with the Afghan authorities in order to facilitate this process," the senior Russian diplomat said.

Moscow will welcome Washington’s move to join regional consultations on Afghanistan when the US decides on its priorities in this area, he went on. 

"Yes, certainly (the US participation in consultations on Afghanistan) was discussed," the diplomat said.

The priority task now is to expand the format due to five Central Asian nations, Kabulov said. "As these are regional consultations, the inclusion of Central Asian countries was discussed," he said, adding that without these states the consultations would be incomplete.

"When the concerned states of Central Asia join (the consultations), the new US administration will decide on its Afghan priorities by this time," he said. "Certainly, we will welcome their participation if they have such a wish."

Commenting on Wednesday’s six-nation consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow, the diplomat said: "The consultations are always a success." "But for us success is the final result - peace agreement in Afghanistan. It’s a long way to go."

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