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US to skip Moscow conference on Afghanistan — Department of State

However, Washington plans to work with Russia to enhance dialogue on Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, April 14. /TASS/. Washington is planning to skip consultations on reconciliation in Afghanistan to be held in Moscow on Friday, acting US Department of State Mark Toner told reporters.

"We don’t plan to participate in these regional talks," he said at a briefing on Thursday.

"We do generally support regional efforts that work with the Afghan Government to build support for a peaceful outcome in Afghanistan, and I think we - going forward, we do plan to work with Russia and other key regional stakeholders to enhance dialogue on Afghanistan," the spokesman added.

Moscow invited 12 states, including from the European Union and Central Asia, to take part in consultations devoted to the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and the start of direct talks between the country’s government and the radical Taliban movement.

According to earlier reports, Taliban announced its readiness to take part in the Moscow talks.

Last December, Moscow hosted consultations between diplomats from Russia, Pakistan and China to discuss the start of the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The format was expanded in mid-February to involve Afghanistan, Iran and India.