Moscow huddle on Afghan peace gets underway

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KABUL: Delays in talks on resolving the Afghan issue are unacceptable amid the deteriorating situation in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the inauguration of a conference on Afghanistan in Moscow on Thursday.


Representatives from China, Turkey, the United States, Pakistan, the Afghan warring sides, and Qatar are in attendance at the Moscow huddle on Afghan peace.


The Moscow meeting, according to Lavrov, was held “to assist in the resolution of problems that occurred during the Doha negotiations and to allow the parties to cooperate further through informal, free consultations, and discreet conversations.”


“We are confident that given the deteriorating military and political situation in the country, further delays are unacceptable. The situation causes increasing concern ahead of the spring and summer when military activities tend to gain momentum,” he pointed out.


The top Russian diplomat thanked Qatar for its efforts to facilitate national reconciliation in Afghanistan. He was regretful that Doha’s activities had not produced positive results yet. “We expect that today’s conversation will help create conditions for progress in intra-Afghan talks,” Lavrov emphasized.


Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman, also spoke on occasion, emphasizing a ceasefire and accelerated efforts for peace. Abdullah said the Moscow meeting would pave the way for the upcoming UN-led meeting in Turkey.


Moreover, Mullah Baradar representing a 10-member Taliban team, stressed Islamic Emirate had some features that could prevent the disintegration of Afghanistan, help ensure security and combat the widespread corruption and drug production in the country.


The one-day Moscow meeting will culminate with a resolution letter released following closed-door consultations among the participants.