Taliban to attend Russia conference on Afghanistan next month: Moscow
"The initial response is positive - they plan to take part in this meeting. I hope it will be productive," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters.
The meeting will be held in Moscow on September 4. It will be second such meeting after that in April last year, according to a statement issued by Russian Foreign Ministry.
U.S. had declined to attend previous meeting on Afghanistan in Russia, saying it did not know Russia’s objectives for the gathering.
In the statement, Russian Foreign Ministry said that declined to attend that meeting, saying that the new U.S. administration lacked an Afghanistan strategy at the time.
It stated that the Moscow format meeting’s main objective is to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and secure peace in the country as soon as possible.
Unlike the previous round, the next meeting will be co-chaired by both Russia and Afghanistan. 12 countries, including the U.S., and the leadership of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar have been invited to take part in the meeting, according to the statement.
“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.