U.S. Refuses to Join Afghan Peace Talks in Moscow

(Last Updated On: March 25, 2017 2:31 pm)

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The United States won’t attend in a multinational peace conference on Afghanistan which is scheduled to be held next month in Russia, a State Department official has said.

According to the reports, Washington reasons that it wasn’t consulted before receiving the invitation and doesn’t know Russia’s objectives for the conference.

The official added that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Russia in April where he will discuss regional efforts to end the 16-year war in Afghanistan.

At the same time, Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Friday announced readiness to participate in the Moscow conference, but did not say if the Taliban representative is expected to join the gathering.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said it had not yet been decided on what level Pakistan will participate in the conference.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India and several Central Asian nations are among the invitees to the Moscow meeting.

Afghan and U.S. officials had earlier told the Associated Press (AP) that Taliban were not invited.

Recently, Pakistan has hosted seven Taliban leaders in Islamabad to force them into peace talks ahead of the Moscow meeting.

An Afghan analyst believe that Islamabad is trying to escape U.S. likely sanctions against itself.

“In order to escape from U.S. sanctions, Pakistan is trying to bring the Taliban into the negotiation table to pretend that Islamabad is in favor of peace in Afghanistan and this is a complicated game,” Ahmad Saidi a political commentator said.

Russia is hosting a multination peace conference on Afghanistan as there are allegations of Moscow supporting Taliban in Afghanistan, a claim that has always been rejected by Russian officials.

By: Elaha Omari and Hesamuddin Hesam

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