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Afghan govt won't attend Moscow peace talks

ANI | Updated: Aug 23, 2018 18:00 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 23 (ANI): Afghanistan government will not be attending the peace talks in Moscow scheduled next month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday.
The ministry further asserted that the government of Afghanistan strongly believes in 'intra-Afghan dialogue' and, therefore, any peace talks should be held under the leadership of the Afghan government, reported ToloNews.
Sibghat Ahmadi, the deputy spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "Any regional consensus about Pakistan needs to be structured in axis of the Afghan government. The peace process definitely needs to be carried out under the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We will not participate in the Moscow talks."
Meanwhile, the Afghan officials further revealed that the government is yet to receive a formal invitation to participate in the upcoming peace meeting in the Russian capital.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had announced that members of the Taliban would visit Russia next month to discuss on a peace strategy in Afghanistan.
A former Taliban political figure Sayed Akbar Agha confirmed that Taliban will be attending the Moscow talk. He said, "Taliban has agreed on the Moscow talks and they will attend it. These talks are related to Asia. Foreign forces have come to Asian countries and there are concerns among these countries about it. All these countries want foreign forces to withdraw from Afghanistan."
Though Russia does not share any border with Afghanistan, Moscow has stepped up efforts in recent times to reach out to the Taliban, to enter into peace negotiations with the US-backed Afghan government. The group is banned in Russia.
For years, Taliban militants in Afghanistan have been using suicide bombers to create unrest in the region, claiming that their struggle is a holy war to impose Islamic rule. (ANI)