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Russia tries to defeat US in Afghanistan: Lawmaker

KABUL: A member of parliament believes that Russia tries to defeat the United States military in Afghanistan by challenging Washington’s peace efforts.

“The Russian government works with all its power to defeat the United States troops in Afghanistan just as the Soviet troops were defeated in the 1980s. Russians want to tell Americans that when you have come from a long distance to control Afghanistan politically and militarily, we have a significant role on Taliban from near. Why did Taliban have to refer to Russia when they reached agreement with Khalilzad?” lawmaker Rahima Jami said Sunday.

Moscow is going to host a meeting initiated by Afghans with participation of Taliban representatives and some politicians from Kabul including then president Karzai.

President Ghani’s government refused to attend the meeting, calling it unhelpful for the peace process.

Another member of parliament, Dawood Kalakani seems pessimistic to the results of the Moscow meeting, because, he says the governments are not attending.

“Moscow wants to play its role in the Afghan peace efforts. But these meetings will be useful when governments send their delegations,” said Kalakani.

“This coming week, Russia will reportedly be hosting meetings with Taliban representatives and prominent Afghan politicians who are rivals of President Ghani. If confirmed, this is a big deal and could represent one more challenge to US-led efforts to negotiate with the Taliban,” said Michael Kugelman, a university researcher in Washington.

He added that Moscow would probably ask the Taliban to reject Washington’s demands over keeping bases.

Taliban just finished a six-day long talks with the US representative Zalmay Khalilzad, in which they were said to have reached agreements over the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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