'Intra-Afghan' Talks Under Way In Moscow Amid Continuing Violence

'Intra-Afghan' Talks Under Way In Moscow Amid Continuing Violence

The talks in Moscow hosted by an Afghan diaspora group in Russian Federation - which are separate from the U.S. negotiations - start Tuesday and would canvass the "end of occupation, enduring peace in homeland and establishment of an intra-Afghan Islamic system of governance", the Taliban said.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban delegation in Moscow, also contradicted Hanafi's earlier comments on an American withdrawal saying no date had yet been fixed.

He also stated that the two sides hope to achieve a durable peace in the war-ravaged country.

Votel also said that the United States would need to continue to support Afghan security forces financially even if US troops withdrew from Afghanistan.

The attacks were reported as representatives of the Taliban were to hold meetings in Moscow with prominent Afghan figures, including former President Hamid Karzai, opposition leaders and tribal elders _ but not Kabul government officials. This latest development has further isolated the Kabul government in peace negotiations.

In a statement ahead of the Moscow meet, the network said they would not accept peace at the cost of their freedoms and urged delegates to defend the rights of half of Afghanistan's 35 million people.

Similar Taliban attacks reportedly occurred in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, where, according to local Azadi Radio, as many as 10 security personnel were killed in coordinated assaults by the Taliban.

Karzai said the main issue under discussion in Moscow was that Afghanistan should be free of foreign forces, adding that there was a near consensus on this matter.

In 2018, Tashkent hosted a high-level global conference on Afghanistan titled "Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction" where the participants called for an urgent start of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement.

Fawzia Kofi, a women's rights activist, underlined that Afghans would not go back to the past from the realities of modern Afghanistan.




The Taliban control almost half of Afghanistan, and are more powerful than at any time since the 2001 US-led invasion after the 9/11 terror attacks. Taliban meet United States officials and attend a peace conference in Moscow.

"We can find a complete peace in Afghanistan".

But the meeting has sidelined Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government, which has criticized the gathering.

"This meeting was very successful", the black-turbaned Taliban official told reporters, flanked by the former president who was appointed after US-led forces routed the Taliban in 2001.

Pompeo also emphasized the importance of an intra-Afghan dialogue and the role of a cease-fire in ending the violence and making it possible for the Afghan government, other Afghan leaders and the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement, Palladino said.

Ayubi said the attackers were eventually repelled after reinforcements arrived at the besieged base on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city.

While Ghani's government declined to attend the Moscow meeting, organized by an association of Afghans in Russia with the help of the Russian Foreign Ministry, several leading political rivals did.

U.S. and Taliban delegations met in Qatar in January and are due to meet again in February.

Taliban fighters stormed an army post in northern Kunduz province early Tuesday, setting off a clash that killed more than two dozen people - a lot of them soldiers, Afghan officials said.

"We understand that the government needs to be part of these negotiations".

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