Participants confirm attendance for Moscow meet on Afghanistan

All the participants invited to attend a meeting in Moscow on the Afghan peace process next week have confirmed their attendance, a top Russian official said on Friday.

The development was confirmed to the TASS News Agency by Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department.

When asked whether American representatives will take part in the consultations, he said that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad had confirmed his participation.

On March 9, Kabulov told TASS that Russia had invited the US, China, Pakistan, representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban to Moscow for the meeting scheduled to be held on March 18.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that Doha had also received an invitation from Russia.

The conference was proposed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The US and the Taliban signed an agreement in February 2020, which called for a full withdrawal of American military forces from the conflict-ridden country by May 2021 if the militant group meets the conditions of the deal, including severing ties with other terrorist organisations.

But administration of President Joe Biden had noted that the Taliban had not met its commitment under the US-Taliban deal.