Monday, 10 December, 2018

Russian Federation hosts meeting on Afghanistan

Taliban join Moscow talks to kick start Afghanistan negotiations India at Moscow dialogue: Why no talks with JK stakeholders, asks Omar Abdullah
Jeannette Daniel | 09 November, 2018, 19:53

"India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the government of Afghanistan", Kumar asserted.

"The United States believes that all countries should support direct dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to reach an end to the war and we have been clear that no government, including Russian Federation, can be a substitute for the Afghan government in direct negotiations with the Taliban".

"The Moscow format of talks is aimed at establishing an inclusive inter-Afghan dialogue in the interests of advancing the process of national reconciliation", Lavrov said as he opened the meeting that has brought together representatives of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban. As per the outline of the New Development Plan finalised in September 2017, India would take up hundreds of development projects to the tune of $1 billion to help rebuild the country.

Moscow on Friday hosted global talks on Afghanistan aimed at kickstarting direct negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban militant group, both of whom sent delegations.

"Russia has managed to steal the agenda from the USA", said Ruslan Mamedov, program director at the Russian International Affairs Council, a research organization set up by the Kremlin.

India has been invested in the reconstruction of the war-torn country and has been the largest regional donor.

The Afghan government and the Taliban both denied that the conference marked direct negotiations for peace.

More news: Iceland Christmas ad on orangutan plight banned for political rule breach

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban's political wing which has headquarters in Qatar, said the group would not negotiate directly with Kabul and demanded that all foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

The Afghan delegation is made up of four representatives of the High Peace Council, a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the militants, spokesman Sayed Ihsan Taheri said. Regional players like Pakistan, China and Iran are among the participants of the meeting hosted by Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, VOA quotes the Trump administration as saying the us will attend in coordination with Kabul. This format has given Moscow a leadership position in the Afghanistan situation, at a time when the United States is ceding the space.

The second round, which was to be held on September 4 this year, was postponed. After the Afghan government cancelled its participation, India too followed suit on the pretext that it would be untenable for New Delhi's representatives to share the table with a Taliban delegation - when Afghanistan's democratically-elected government would be staying away.

On Wednesday, an unnamed spokesperson for the U.S. State Department reportedly confirmed that, in coordination with Kabul, the U.S. embassy in Moscow "will send a representative to the working level to observe the discussions".

Analysts have said that the roles of Pakistan and the U.S. hold the key to peace in Afghanistan.

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