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Russian expert says Moscow conference on Afghanistan may help solve crisis

April 13, 18:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The international conference on Afghanistan will be held in Moscow on April 14

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© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. The international conference on Afghanistan, scheduled to be held in Moscow on April 14, may play a key role in solving the Afghan crisis, Omar Nessar, an expert from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told TASS.

"The Moscow meeting is of great interest and may play a key role in solving the Afghan crisis," he said. "Although various foreign players, including global ones, are involved in this conflict, I am inclined to believe that regional contradictions and differences in the regional countries’ approaches prevail over the global factors."

"Moscow will try to use this forum to help work out a single regional approach towards this issue and if it succeeds, it will be an important contribution to the activities aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan and the region in general," the expert added.

Representatives of more than ten countries of the region are expected to participate in the conference, Nessar pointed out.

US participation

According to Nessar, Washington’s initial refusal to take part in the Moscow international conference was logical, taking into consideration the United States’ interests in the region.

"Americans initially refused to participate in the meeting, moreover, they tried to talk Afghans out of participating or at least into decreasing the level of their representatives," the expert said. "Taking into account the US interests, there is some logic in its actions. The US hosted a meeting of the quadripartite contact group involving Pakistan and China, so it could not let Moscow create an alternative platform, let alone a regional one, aimed to solve the Afghan issue."

In Nessar’s opinion, Washington’s refusal was based on the "unwillingness of some part of the US political elite to let the Trump administration get closer to Russia."

"The Afghan issue could serve as a bridge to help Russia and the United States improve relations which would affect all other issues," the Russian expert said.

"Perhaps, the US has changed its mind and decided to take part in the conference following the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow," Nessar added. "At the meeting between (Russian Foreign Minister Sergey) Lavrov and Tillerson, the Afghan issue was touched upon, they could have reached some agreement."

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