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Russia welcomes Trump’s remarks on renewing negotiations with Taliban, says envoy

It is high time to end the "drawn-out" process of negotiations, the diplomat claimed

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Moscow welcomes US President Donald Trump’s statement on jump-starting talks with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia), Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Second Asia Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Zamir Kabulov told TASS on Friday.

"We welcome this statement. It is high time to renew negotiations with members of the Taliban movement and end this drawn-out process, since it has deterred the launch of the foremost issue — inter-Afghan negotiations and the process of national reconciliation. We hope very much that such negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban will be completed in the near future and we can begin shaping a new situation in Afghanistan," he said.

Trump stated on Thursday in Afghanistan that the Taliban movement wanted to sign a peace treaty with Washington. He also noted that the US was going to scale down its presence on Afghan soil to 8,600 servicemen.

In the fall of 2018, the Americans actually started separate peace talks with Taliban members. The government in Kabul did not participate in them, but was notified of it only after the outcome. After nine rounds of meetings, the US special envoy to Afghanistan confirmed the achievement of a peace agreement in principle with the Taliban. However, later Trump announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat and the termination of negotiations with the Taliban movement.