Russia, Afghanistan postpone Afghan peace consultations in Moscow

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KABUL (TCA) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry says that multiparty talks in Moscow aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan have been postponed after a request from the Afghan president.

The ministry said in a statement on August 27 that the 12-party talks, which were scheduled for September 4 and expected to include representatives from the Taliban, would be put off for another date.

On August 27, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, the ministry said.

“The President of the IRA [Islamic Republic of Afghanistan], supporting in principle the idea of a Moscow meeting, proposed postponing it due to the need to develop Afghanistan’s consolidated position on this issue, taking into account the ongoing personnel changes in the leadership of the Afghan ruling bloc,” the statement said, adding that an agreement was reached to jointly work out a new date for the meeting through diplomatic channels.

Last week, representatives for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said his government would not be attending, saying the process should be led by the Afghan government. Ghani also offered a monthlong cease-fire with the Taliban, a move that was supported by Washington, RFE/RL reported.

The United States, which has thousands of troops in the country, also declined to attend the Moscow talks, asserting they were unlikely to be successful.

The decision comes as the Taliban escalates attacks across Afghanistan and has refused direct talks with Kabul.

Sergey Kwan

TCA