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Moscow format on Afghanistan kicks off


Kabul: The fourth meeting of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan has started today, November 16, with representatives from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The participants in today’s meeting will discuss security issues in Afghanistan, including the concern about the presence of terrorist groups and to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan to establish peace and stability in the country. But Taliban delegation is not part of this round of consultations.

Earlier Zamir Kablov, the special representative of the Russian President for Afghanistan regarding not inviting Taliban delegation, has said that “the main task of this meeting is to develop a trans-regional approach. The Afghan authorities in Kabul were asked to take steps to form an inclusive ethno-political government but unfortunately this did not happen, considering these conditions, this time we decided to limit ourselves to only inviting countries in the region in the Moscow format to create a common approach.”

Kabulov added: “After this meeting, all of us together and individually will have the opportunity to discuss with Afghan authorities based on the conclusions we will achieve in this meeting.”

Representatives from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE are being invited as guests in this meeting.

The previous meeting of the Moscow consultative format on Afghanistan was held on October 20, 2021, in which a Taliban delegation headed by Abdul Salam Hanafi, the deputy prime minister has participated.

On that meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Taliban asked the international community to recognize the interim government of the Taliban. He also promised that there will be no threat from Afghanistan to foreign countries.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressing a joint press conference after the meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Moscow that “We are working with the Taliban on our line. The Indian friends are also taking the necessary steps in this direction”. “We have not yet achieved the desired result and have not seen that the colleagues who personify the power in Kabul are moving fast enough in those areas that have been announced as their obligations to their people.“

I mean the need to consolidate the ethno-political unity of the Afghan people and ensure the inclusive nature of power,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov, however, said that Moscow maintains “regular contact” with representatives of the Taliban, who will be privy to what the participants in the Moscow format meeting will be doing.

Today’s meeting in Moscow about Afghanistan and especially the security issues of this country will be held in a situation where recently news of the presence of ISIS hideouts even in the capital Kabul and Herat province has been announced by the Taliban itself, despite their initial denial of any terrorist groups being present in Afghanistan soil.

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