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Taliban invited to Moscow conference on Afghanistan

The Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) have been invited to a conference on Afghanistan, scheduled to take place in Moscow on February 5-6, member of Russia’s Afghan community and one of the event’s organizers Akhtar Mohammad Safi said at a press conference on Thursday.

“We tried to invite all parties interested in the peace process in Afghanistan: the Afghan government and the opposition, including the Taliban,” he said in response to a TASS question. “We have certainly invited the Taliban. Large-scale work is underway, we will know for sure who will participate in two or three days,” he added.

According to another organizer, Mohammad Nadir Shah, the conference will also involve delegates from the Afghan communities in CIS member states and European countries, as well as representatives of Iran and Pakistan. “The Afghan community abroad is large and we care about what is happening in Afghanistan,” he noted. “The time has come to launch a broad intra-Afghan dialogue. The conference’s participants will exchange views on ways to achieve peace in the country,” he said.

When asked if more meetings would be arranged in the future, the Afghan community’s member said that “if there are positive results, we can arrange as many [meetings] as necessary. The main point is that it should facilitate efforts to resolve the situation in Afghanistan.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, clarified that it was the Afghan community that was organizing the conference, which was not part of the series of international Moscow meetings on the Afghan issue.

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