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Moscow to host US, China, Pakistan for Afghanistan talks next week

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Moscow will host the United States, China and Pakistan next week for talks on Afghanistan, the Kremlin’s envoy to the country told Russian news agencies Friday.

News agencies cited Zamir Kabulov as saying the meeting would take place on Tuesday and that the countries “will try to work out a common position on the changing situation in Afghanistan”.

It should be recalled that back in March this year, the then Afghan government and the Taliban had decided to try and expedite the peace talks at a meeting in Moscow that came after an international conference there on the peace process.

The United States, Russia, China, and Pakistan called on Afghanistan’s warring sides to reach an immediate ceasefire at the conference, held in Russia just six weeks before a deadline agreed last year to withdraw US troops.

Moscow had hosted the international conference on Afghanistan at which Russia, the United States, China, and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence, and on the Taliban not to launch any offensives in the spring and summer.

The conference aimed to reinvigorate negotiations that have been taking place between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha, largely stalled over government accusations that the insurgents have failed to halt the violence.

The Moscow conference was the first time the United States had sent a senior representative to talks on Afghanistan under a format launched by Russia in 2017. Washington agreed last year with the Taliban to withdraw its troops after nearly two decades and was looking for support among regional powers for its plans for the peace process.

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