Thanks, But No Thanks: Afghanistan Rejects Russia-Hosted Peace Talks With Taliban, Pakistan To Attend

Thanks, But No Thanks: Afghanistan Rejects Russia-Hosted Peace Talks With Taliban, Pakistan To Attend Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

The Afghan government has rejected Russia’s invitation to participate in a conference on the future of the war-torn country which will be attended by the Taliban and its ally Pakistan, Voice of America has reported.

This development came a day after the United States refused to participate in the conference, which is scheduled for 4 September.

The Taliban have confirmed their participation. The head of the Islamist group’s political office in Doha will lead the delegation.

Apart from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban, the Russian Foreign Ministry has invited 11 other countries including India, China and Iran.

The US and the Afghan government, reports said, are interested in holding direct talks with the Taliban. Russia, however, has been increasing its engagement with the insurgent group which has safe havens in Pakistan. The country has also increased its engagement with Rawalpindi, which keeps the Taliban alive.

Earlier this year, a top US commander in Afghanistan had accused Russia of supporting and supplying weapons to the Taliban.