Moscow to host US, China, Pakistan for Afghanistan talks next week

Countries will try to work out a common position on the changing situation, says Putin's special representative


AFP/REUTERS October 15, 2021
PHOTO: Anadolu Agency/FILE

Moscow will host the United States, China and Pakistan next week for talks on Afghanistan, the Kremlin's envoy to the country told Russian news agencies Friday.

News agencies cited President Vladimir Putin's special representative on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov as saying the meeting would take place on Tuesday and that the countries "will try to work out a common position on the changing situation in Afghanistan".

According to Reuters, Kabulov said that he did not expect any major breakthrough at talks with the Taliban next week in Moscow.

Read more: Russia suggests holding UN conference on Afghanistan

"We do not expect any breakthroughs," the RIA news agency cited Kabulov as saying. "We understand that this is a long process."

Kabulov added that officials from Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan would meet separately in Moscow on Tuesday to come up with a united position on the changing situation in Afghanistan, RIA said.

Moscow hosted an international conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.

Also read: Russia invites China to attend talks on Afghanistan

Since then, the United States and its allies have withdrawn their troops after 20 years on the ground, the Taliban seized power and the previous government collapsed.

Russia is now worried about the potential for fallout in the wider region and the possibility of Islamist militants infiltrating the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, which Moscow views as its southern defensive buffer.

Since the Taliban takeover, Moscow has held military exercises in Tajikistan and bolstered hardware at its military base there.

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