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Afghanistan Will Not Attend Upcoming Moscow Conference: MoFA

(Last Updated On: August 22, 2018)

The Afghan government will not attend the upcoming multinational conference on Afghanistan which will be held early next month in Moscow, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the  Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement said that Moscow will host the second round of last year’s meeting on Afghanistan which will be attended by 12 countries  including Afghanistan and the United States.

The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s statement said that the conference is set to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and securing peace in that country “as soon as possible”.  

“The aim of the upcoming meeting is to help narrow the gaps in the approaches taken by the Afghan government and the Taliban to launching a direct intra-Afghan dialogue,” the statement said.

In  the statement, it was mentioned  that unlike its previous round, the meeting will be co-chaired by both Russia and Afghanistan.

However, Sebghat Ahmadi, Spokesman of the Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry told Ariana News that the Afghan government will not take part in the Moscow meeting, insisting that peace process should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.

“We have made the issue clear that peace process should be Afghan-owned.  Any event which is taking place on Afghanistan in the region and world or the event which is expected to discuss Afghanistan should be in axis of Afghanistan,” he said. 

Some Afghan political commentators, meanwhile, said that Russia seeks its own interest in such gatherings. 

“Russia has concerns regarding the presence of ISIS in Afghanistan. Russia not only wants this negotiation [with the Taliban] but it also financially supporting the Taliban,” said political analyst Javid Pozhohish.

Russia has invited 12 countries including the U.S. to take part in Moscow conference which will be held on September 4. The leadership of the Taliban’s political office in Doha has also been invited to attend the gathering.

This comes as Afghanistan’s national security  Mohammad Haneef Atmar adviser has met with Russian Ambassador Alexander Mantytskiy in Kabul, where he called on the Russian government to put pressure on the Taliban to enter into peace talks.

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