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Russia to Sponsor Peace Talks Between the Taliban and the Kabul Government in Moscow

The US objected, but the US-backed Kabul government is going ahead anyway

While the exact date hasn’t been set yet, Afghan and Russian officials have confirmed that they will be co-chairing a series of new talks with the Taliban in Moscow. The officials say the focus now is on content, with the date to be settled afterward.

The Russian government had initially organized a multi-national conference for Afghanistan that was to be held earlier in September, but agreed to cancel it after talks with the Afghan government. Under the terms of an agreement, it would be put off to a future date.

Afghan officials have largely rejected multi-national talks, believing they need to make talks with the Taliban one-on-one to avoid being sidelined by other nations. This in particular has been an objection for US talks with the Taliban, which have happened outside of the Afghan government’s purview.

The US objected to Russia trying to organize such talks in general, but it seems like the Afghan government has been convinced that they can use the Moscow invite as an opportunity to kick-start serious talks with the Taliban, who had already agreed to attend Moscow talks.

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