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Politics

Afghanistan government not participating in Moscow talks

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) says Afghanistan government’s delegation will not attend Moscow meeting as such meetings cannot help the peace process.
“The government of Afghanistan has already decided in this regard. We think holding such meetings will not help us in reaching peace, therefore, no plan to attend it. Previously, consultations have been done in this regard as we have specify a framework,” a spokesperson to ministry of foreign affairs Sibghat Ahmadi said, adding Russia is among countries that has recognized the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.
He hoped regional countries in particular Russia would respect and act upon its pledges.
“We hope that Russia like other countries will express its commitment on recognizing Afghanistan’s role as leader and owner of the peace process,” Ahmadi said. 
Reports indicate that the meeting will be held in Moscow on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Meanwhile, a number of political parties have admitted that their representatives have been invited to Moscow meeting.
According to media reports, both Taliban and Afghan political parties have accepted the invitation for attending the meeting.
Afghan political experts consider absence of Afghanistan government in meetings and denial of the Taliban group for direct peace talks with the government as concerning for future of the country.
With this hasty that US would like to pull out its troops from Afghanistan and with a remark of Taliban representative Shir Mohammad Abas Stanekzai, saying when we come, ANDSF should go, it is natural that Russia shows concern in connection with situation in Afghanistan,” an Afghan political expert Daud Naji said.
Meanwhile, another Afghan legal and political expert Abdul Ali Mohammadi believes that Moscow meeting is held in reaction to meetings held between US officials and representatives of the Taliban group in Abu Dhabi and Doha.
“Russia by hosting Moscow meeting which will be attended by Afghan political parties and representative of the Taliban group wants to somehow show that Russia should not be ignored in Afghanistan future and hosting Moscow meeting is part of the country’s efforts,” Mohammadi added.
On November 2018, Moscow hosted a meeting on Afghan peace which was attended by representatives of the Taliban and envoys from 11 countries including the United States. 
From Afghanistan, a delegation of the High Peace Council had attended.
This comes as representatives of over 40 countries attended the International Contact Group meeting in London this week where US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative on Regional Affairs for Consensus on Peace also participated. The participants announced their support to the Afghan peace process. 
Lailuma Noori

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The Kabul Times.