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Kabul, Moscow still in talks over peace conference

KABUL: Afghan and Russian officials are still talking on the holding of the November Moscow meeting for the peace in Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said, urging that no meeting would give results without an Afghan leadership.

“The Moscow meeting is a matter of discussion and we are negotiating with Russian officials on its time and other issues. Let me tell you that no meeting in no country will have results without the Afghans’ leadership,” said Sebghat Ahmad, foreign ministry spokesman on Monday.

The meeting scheduled to be held in September, was postponed apparently when the government of Afghanistan refused to participate, asking for everything be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. The two countries then agreed to jointly hold the meeting, but no exact date has been clarified.

Moscow has said that representatives from Afghanistan, Taliban group, the United States and regional countries had been invited to the meeting that aimed to discuss ways to stop war in Afghanistan.

Taliban have not yet commented whether they would attend the meeting, but a source close to the group has told the media that a delegation from the group’s Qatar office was on its way to Moscow to attend the meeting.

The High Peace Council has not stated on the meeting recently, but its deputy chief, Hajji Din Mohammad had earlier said he was optimistic to the meeting.

Meanwhile, political experts are also optimistic to the Moscow meeting, but say differences and problems over the holding of the meeting were still unsolved.

“The government of Afghanistan needs to solve problems before the Moscow meeting and clarify everything, because this discusses the future of Afghanistan,” said political analyst Entezar Khadem.

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