Taliban Says It's Not Ready For Talks With Kabul

Taliban join Moscow talks to kick start Afghanistan negotiations

Din Mohammad Azizullah, head of the Afghan government delegation, confirmed that he had "brief talks" with the Taliban members at a working lunch, characterizing the talks as "friendly".

Russian Federation invited twelve countries and the Taliban, fighting to re-impose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by US -led troops, but the United States and the USA -backed Afghan government declined to come to Moscow.

Last year, the USA and the Taliban reportedly refused to attend the first meeting Moscow hosted.

The United States and the Taliban are both set to attend for the first time a multilateral conference Russian Federation will host Friday in Moscow to discuss how to achieve peace and national reconciliation in Afghanistan. "We highly value India's support in the peace process in Afghanistan".

"There were no statements by the Indian representatives, nor was there any document signed".

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The Taliban said they would continue direct negotiations with Washington, which have been spearheaded by the U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad.

"I hope that the efforts by Mr. Khalilzad will continue as it is, so that we will witness tangible results", said Maisam. "They are all happy to be here", said Afghanistan's ambassador to Russia, Dr. Abdul Qayyum Kochai.

The High Peace Council (HPC) meanwhile on Saturday gave an update on its move to establish a negotiations team as requested by Khalilzad during his trip to Kabul last month.

Pakistan confirmed on Thursday the USA -led peace initiative prompted Islamabad to release a senior jailed Taliban leader last month. "We are determined to make every possible effort to facilitate the opening of a new page in the history of Afghanistan", he was quoted as saying by the state-run Tass news agency. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told the Moscow Times that it was trying to find an "inclusive, inter-Afghan dialogue" to end the conflict.

"Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level", he said. Ministry of External Affairs' official spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said, "Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level".

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The Taliban "does not recognise the current government as legal and therefore we won't hold talks with them", he added.

Nevertheless, VOA quotes the Trump administration as saying the USA will attend in coordination with Kabul.

The Afghan government's rejection to participate in the meet on September 4 has been speculated to be a result of USA pressure.

He reiterated India's position that it will support an "Afghan-led" reconciliation process. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government. They are T C A Raghavan, former High Commissioner to Islamabad and now head of the Indian Council for World Affairs, and Amar Sinha, former Ambassador to Kabul and Distinguished Fellow at the Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries. We have decided that non-officials will be participating.

Russian Federation has said that invitations for the meet has been sent out to India, Iran, China, Pakistan, the US, Afghanistan and other countries.

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