Moscow meeting on Afghanistan kicked off on Friday in the Russian capital with the presence of delegations from Afghan High Peace Council, and the Taliban as well as representatives from a dozen nations, including the US.
Opening the second session of Moscow conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the meeting is meant to seek ways to national reconciliation in Afghanistan.
“No one should think in terms of geopolitical games that may result in another transformation of Afghanistan into a field for competition between external players with drastic consequences both for the Afghans and their neighbors,” Lavrov said as cited by Russia Today.
The consultations between deputy foreign ministers and special representatives is attended for the first time by a delegation of the Taliban armed group.
Washington Post reported that a representative from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow also attended the summit, but only as an observer.
The Afghan government has not officially sent its representatives, but members of a non-state organization – High Peace Council has attended the event.
The HPC delegation was led by Haji Din Mohammad and accompanied by Habiba Surabi, Abdul Khabir Ochoqon, and Maulvi Attaurahman Saleem.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said that it appreciates the efforts by any country which supports peace in Afghanistan, adding Kabul hopes that the Moscow meeting will lead to direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Earlier, the Taliban have officially confirmed they would attend the multilateral meeting in Moscow on Friday.
In a statement, the group clarified that the conference is not about negotiating with any particular side rather it is a conference about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict.