Afghanistan: High Peace Council to attend Moscow peace talks

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KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 4 said that discussions are still ongoing between Afghanistan and Russia about the nature and details of a possible peace meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

“We are in consultations about the modality, nature and timing of Moscow meeting, these items are still under discussion, but what could happen is that a High Peace Council delegation could attend the Moscow peace meeting; but the government until now has not finalized its decision about the Moscow peace meeting,” said Ministry deputy spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi.

But sources have said that it is unlikely that the Afghan government will attend the meeting.

Kabul has been pushing for both Afghanistan and Russia to co-host such a meeting. But the Russians have reportedly not responded positively to this suggestion in the wake of the Taliban’s opposition to such a move.

Meanwhile, officials from the Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) have said that a delegation from the peace facilitating body will attend the Moscow conference on behalf of the Afghan government.

“A delegation from the High Peace Council will participate in the Moscow peace conference on behalf of Afghanistan,” said HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri.

Originally the meeting was scheduled for September 4 in Moscow, but Afghanistan refused to attend citing that any such discussions should be Afghan-led.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on November 3 that delegations from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council and from the Taliban’s Qatar-based political office will attend the talks in Moscow on November 9.

“It will be the first time that a delegation from the Taliban’s political office in Doha will attend such a high-level international meeting,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The statement also said the United States, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia had been invited to the gathering set to be at the deputy foreign minister level.

Sergey Kwan

TCA