Taliban to take part in Afghanistan peace talks in Moscow

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Aug 21, 2018, 09:01 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

The Taliban plans to participate in Afghanistan peace talks in Moscow on September 4, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Interfax news agency on Tuesday.

Russia which had invited Taliban for the talks said on Monday that it was preparing for international peace talks on Afghanistan.

The statement from the ministry said that Russia had invited 12 countries, including the United States, to international talks, which come as Moscow is taking a more prominent role on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. Moscow supported the government's offer of a three-month ceasefire, and regretted that the Taliban rejected the offer on Monday.

The move by the Afghan government followed an extraordinarily violent week in the country that saw the Taliban storm the provincial capital of Ghazni -- just a two-hour drive from Kabul -- and press the fight against security forces across the country, with estimates suggesting hundreds of people may have been killed.

In April 2017, Moscow hosted an international conference on Afghanistan with representatives from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia. The US was invited to that meeting but did not participate.

Russia and its allies called on the Taliban to lay down weapons and negotiate with the Afghan government directly. Moscow also declared its readiness to serve as a platform for dialogue following 17 years of conflict.

(With inputs from agencies)

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