Russia to host meeting on Afghan peace process on March 18

Kabul, 8 Subh: Russia has invited government leaders and some political figures to attend a meeting on the Afghan peace process. The Taliban have also been invited to the meeting. The meeting is scheduled for March 18 in Moscow.

The High Council for National Reconciliation has confirmed that Abdullah Abdullah has received the Russian invitation and is in talks to discuss it.

Feraydon Khozoon, spokesperson for the High Council for National Reconciliation, tweeted that the government leadership, some politicians, Taliban leaders, some countries in the region and the United States were also invited to the meeting.

Mohammad Karim Khalili, the leader of the Islamic Unity Party and former chairperson of the High Peace Council, also announced a few days ago that he had received an invitation to the meeting.

Based on the invitation sent by Zamir Kabulov, the Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan, to lead the government officials, the meeting with will be held on March 18 in Moscow with the representatives from the United States, China and Pakistan, Afghan government and political representatives and Taliban leaders.

It is reported that Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, Sayed Mansoor Naderi, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Hamid Karzai, Abdurab Rasul Sayaf and a number of other political figures were also invited to the meeting.

The meeting will have two people representing the government, two members of the High Council for National Reconciliation, five Taliban representatives and another six or seven politicians. The purpose of the meeting is to speed up the Doha talks.

So far, the politicians and government officials invited to the meeting have not commented on their participation. Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar told a news conference yesterday that consultations were under way. Moscow has twice before hosted a meeting attended by a number of politicians and representatives of the Taliban.