Afghan Politicians, Taliban To Attend Meeting In Moscow

A delegation of prominent Afghan politicians among them former President Hamid Karzai and chairman of the High Peace Council (HPC) Mohammad Karim Khalili are expected to participate in a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday as the two countries mark 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations at a time that Afghanistan is passing through a difficult situation in the view of current conflict. 

Meanwhile, close sources to the Taliban have said that a delegation from the Taliban’s political office in Doha will also attend the Moscow meeting.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It is expected that these efforts will pave the way for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” said HPC spokesman Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed.

The peace council, however, has raised its optimism that such meetings will be proved helpful in brokering direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, something the Taliban has been denying for a long time.

“We are trying to explain the ideas of the people of Afghanistan regarding the peace process from every platform; therefore, Mr. Khalili will attend the meeting,” the HPC deputy spokesman Assadullah Zaeeri said.

It is believed that a number of key issues are expected to be discussed at the meeting including further expansion of the ties between Kabul and Moscow and the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“The meeting is just an opportunity for exchanging views. The Taliban will never endorse those meetings where decisions are made unless there is a decision on the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan,” said a former Taliban member Sayed Akbar Agha.

The Taliban so far has not confirmed their participation.

“If some people from outside the premises of the government goes and hold talks, this will not lead to a legal decision,” said senator Mohammad Akbari.

“If an opportunity becomes available for the peace process in Afghanistan, that opportunity should be taken into account, because peace is a necessity to the people of Afghanistan,” Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said at the Council of Ministers meeting.

According to the Afghan government, Afghan ambassador to Moscow Latif Bahand will also attend the meeting.

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