Tolo News – Afghan Government will not attend peace talks in Moscow

Ministry of Foreign Affairs says any talks on the country’s peace should be carried out under the leadership of the government of Afghanistan.

Nabeela Ashrafi

Kabul – Afghanistan, 22 August 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Wednesday said the Afghan government will not participate in the upcoming peace meeting on Afghanistan in the Russian capital Moscow next month. The ministry said government firmly believes in intra-Afghan dialogues.

According to officials, the Kabul government has not received a formal invitation to attend the talks so far.

“Any regional consensus about Pakistan needs to be structured in axis of the Afghan government. The peace process definitely needs to be carried out under the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We will not participate in the Moscow talks,” said MoFA deputy spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi.

However, a former Taliban political figure Sayed Akbar Agha said Taliban will attend the meeting and will start discussions on the prospects of peace in Afghanistan with countries in the region.

“Taliban has agreed on the Moscow talks and they will attend it. These talks are related to Asia. Foreign forces have come to Asian countries and there are concerns among these countries about it. All these countries want foreign forces to withdraw from Afghanistan,” he said.

There are reports that Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of Taliban’s political office, will lead the Taliban’s delegation in the talks.

But a perception exists that taking the Afghan peace talks to different venues in the west and east will complicate the reconciliation process in the country.

“Today the Taliban are ready to talk with the US and also they are ready to talk with Russia, but those who claim to be Afghans and want to bring peace in Afghanistan or talk about the peace process should talk to Afghans.

However, they are not ready to talk with the legitimate government of Afghanistan,” former Afghan envoy to Syria Mohammadullah Haidari said.

Moscow prepares for the talks at a time that previously Alice Wells, the US’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, met top Taliban officials in Doha.

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