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'Moscow talks first step towards inter-Afghan dialogue', says former Afghan President Karzai

File photo of the former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI Kabul, Afghanistan Feb 04, 2019, 12.02 PM (IST)

Former President Hamid Karzai on Sunday said talks between Afghan government and the Taliban representatives will promote in creating a national and regional consensus for peace.

Karzai will attend the upcoming peace talks in Moscow slated to be held on held on February 5 and 6.

Tolo News quoted Karzai as saying that the Moscow talks are of major importance in terms of changing the aspirations of the Afghan people regaining peace in the region.

Karzai further added that he will be attending the meeting in order to complete his obligation towards his country and its people of reaching a deal that could end the 17-year old conflict in Afghanistan.

"In view of recent peace efforts by the US, we hope that Moscow meeting proves effective towards creating a national and regional consensus for peace," Karzai said.

"The peace process should also lead to the protection of rights and liberties of the Afghan people, women’s right to education and their economic, social & political rights," the former President added.

Apart from Karzai, the meeting would be attended by former Vice President Mohammad Yunus Qanuni, former Balkh governor and Jamiat-e-Islami member Atta Mohammad Noor, Jamiat-e-Islami member Mohammad Ismail Khan, second deputy chief executive and Wahday party member Mohammad Mohaqiq, head of National Islamic Front of Afghanistan Sayed Hamid Gailani, and son of former president Sebghatullah Mujaddedi, Zabihullah Mujaddedi, along with the representatives of Taliban.

The Moscow talks came after officials from over 40 countries attended the International Contact Group meeting in London, this week, including US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative on Regional Affairs for Consensus on Peace Umer Daudzai, to announce their support to the Afghan peace process.