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Russia, Afghanistan to agree on new date for Moscow meeting — foreign ministry

Moscow planned to host consultations on September 4

MOSCOW, August 27. /TASS/. During a phone conversation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani agreed to set a new date for a meeting in the Moscow format, which was supposed to take place on September 4, a message by the Russian Foreign Ministry states.

"While supporting the idea for organizing a Moscow meeting in principle, the President of Afghanistan offered to postpone it due to a necessity to develop a consolidated position of the Afghan side on this issue, keeping in mind the changes in the leadership of Afghanistan’s power bloc," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

"They have agreed to set a new date for the meeting together via diplomatic channels," the ministry added.

The message also informed that Lavrov and Ghani discussed "current issues of bilateral cooperation on the issues of Afghan regulation, including a new session of consultations in the Moscow format on Afghanistan under joint chairmanship of both countries."

It was reported earlier that Moscow planned to host the consultations on September 4. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier it had sent out the invitations to twelve countries, including the US, to take part in the talks, but Washington had said it would abstain.

Russia also invited leaders of the political office of Taliban [banned in Russia at the decision of the Supreme Court], which is located in Doha, Qatar.

On August 23, the Afghan President’s special envoy for Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mohammad Shakir Kargar, told TASS Kabul was not considering participation in the Moscow-format talks. The Russian Foreign Ministry replied that it hoped Afghan representatives would come to Moscow.