Russia will host the Taliban for multilateral peace talks in Moscow on war-torn Afghanistan this month, the militant group said on Tuesday. Moscow announced on Saturday it would host the meeting on November 9 to discuss ways to initiate peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban. This is the second attempt by Russia to host peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
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The Indian government has yet to decide on taking part in negotiating a peace accord between the Taliban and Afghanistan. The Moscow peace summit on Afghanistan, which will bring together deputy foreign ministers and special representatives, is slated for November 9.
In a statement posted on social media, the Taliban said it would send “high-ranking” representatives from its political office in Qatar. The Taliban last month appointed five former Guantanamo Bay detainees, who were exchanged for or US soldier in 2014, to its political office.
The confirmation comes a day after Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the militants, said it would send a delegation. Moscow has also invited representatives from the United States besides India, Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Afghanistan’s chances for peace were “greater now” than in many years, even as the Taliban step up attacks on Afghan forces, which are suffering record-high casualties.
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