ISLAMABAD: Kabul has expressed concern at the trilateral meeting of Pakistan, China and Russia which will be held in Moscow on Tuesday without the participation of Afghanistan.
“Our government has not been consulted about objectives of the trilateral meeting,” sources quoted Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Shakeeb Mustaghni as saying
Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told the media last week that the conference will discuss “regional peace and stability, including situation in Afghanistan.” Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Chaudhry, will lead the Pakistani delegation in the meeting that is likely to focus on ways how the three nations could enhance cooperation for peace and stability in the war-torn country.
“We have said this earlier also that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the entire region. In this spirit, we remain committed and extend all cooperation to the efforts towards bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said during his weekly briefing in Islamabad.
Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov in reported comments has said the consultations on Afghanistan will lay “grounds to establish a wider regional partnership on the issue.” Zamir Kabulov has told the Russian RIA Novosti that it was in the regional stakeholders’ “natural” interests to protect themselves from terrorist spillover, noting that containment efforts should take the form of an “Afghan-regional” project.
However, the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson seemed unimpressed by the Russian and Pakistani stance and insisted that there is “ambiguity about the objectives of the Moscow talks.” He told the BBC Pashto service that participants of the trilateral meeting should share information about the talks.
“We want clarification from all sides involved in the meeting. We have serious concerns about the initiative as Afghanistan was not consulted,” Mustaghni said. Earlier Afghan parliamentarians also lashed out at the three countries for holding the talks on Afghanistan without Afghanistan. Some MPs described the meeting as violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty.