US Confirms It Will Send A Rep To Moscow Summit

Taliban join Moscow talks to kick start Afghanistan negotiations

In response to queries regarding India's participation in the meeting, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on 9 November on Afghanistan".

The U.S. sent an observer from its Moscow embassy to the meeting after it refused to attend the September talks, saying they wouldn't help efforts to end the conflict.

India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country, he said.

"We've been clear that no government, including Russian Federation, can be a substitute for the Afghan government in direct negotiations with the Taliban", he added.

Shaheen said the Taliban delegation had not spoken directly with the government-backed envoys from the Afghan High Peace Council. "This will be assessed at the conference, we hope to convey good news to the people of Afghanistan about direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the near future", said HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri.

India's move of sending former diplomats to a meet where the Taliban delegates are expected to be present perhaps reflects a delicate act of balance and a sign of our commitment towards peace.

Moscow has also invited representatives from the United States, India, Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Russian Federation had sent invitations to the talks to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the United States and the Afghan Taliban.

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Russia's foreign ministry touted the attendance of the Taliban, who sent a five-person delegation to Moscow from their political office in Doha, as unprecedented for an global conference aimed at peace in Afghanistan, although the meeting produced few concrete results.

The talks came with the Taliban ratcheting up pressure on Afghan police and troops this year even as the militants showed a tentative willingness to hold talks with the United States.

They will not hold "any sort of negotiations" with the delegation of Kabul administration, he said.

The convention for Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) had Deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Dr. Alema lead the Afghan delegation while Mr. Mohammad Aslam, Secretary SAFRON headed the Pakistan side.

The statement said that on his last trip to the region in October, Khalilzad called on the Afghan Government and the Taliban to organize authoritative negotiating teams, and has been encouraged to see that both parties are taking steps in that direction.

According to the Russian foreign ministry, the main issue on the agenda is the coordination of regional efforts to assist the process of national reconciliation, in the interest of restoring peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had tried to convince the United States that any help to resolve the Afghanistan issue should be welcomed.

Pakistan confirmed on Thursday the USA -led peace initiative prompted Islamabad to release a senior jailed Taliban leader last month. This time, the Afghan government hasn't sent its envoys, but several members of the government-appointed Peace Council are attending the event.

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