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Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks with group are ‘dead’

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September 13, 2019 | 5:13pm

MOSCOW  — A negotiating staff from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a consultant instructed The Related Press, simply days after US President Donald Trump declared useless a take care of the rebel group in Afghanistan.

Russian state information company Tass cited the Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as saying the delegation had held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Afghanistan. The go to was confirmed to the AP by a Taliban official who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to speak to reporters.

The Interfax information company cited an unidentified Russian International Ministry spokesman as saying the assembly in Russia underlined the need of renewing talks between the US and the Taliban, and that the Taliban confirmed their readiness to persevering with dialogue with Washington.

It was the Taliban’s first worldwide go to following the collapse of talks with Washington. The staff was being led by Mullah Sher Mohammad Stanikzai.

In a weekend tweet, Trump had known as off negotiations and canceled a gathering he mentioned he wished to have with Afghan authorities leaders and the Taliban on the Camp David presidential retreat.

Shaheen instructed the Taliban’s official web site on Tuesday that the group was nonetheless speaking with US negotiators, not less than to search out out what to do subsequent.

The Taliban shura, or management council, opposed its negotiators going to Camp David and admonished those that had accepted U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s invitation that was prolonged on the finish of August.

Shaheen was quoted on the web site as saying the Camp David go to was delayed, saying the Taliban wished the settlement signed and witnessed by international ministers of a number of nations, together with Russia. He mentioned Taliban additionally wished Qatar to announce the settlement earlier than any Camp David assembly.

Moscow has been accused of aiding the Taliban as a safeguard towards a burgeoning Islamic State affiliate that has shut ties to the Islamic Motion of Afghanistan, a militant group in Central Asia. Russia has stepped up its defenses in Central Asia and has claimed 1000’s of IS fighters had been in northern Afghanistan

Moscow has twice this 12 months hosted conferences between the Taliban and distinguished Afghan personalities.

Whereas Washington has been in search of an exit to its longest struggle, the Taliban are at their strongest since their ouster in 2001 and maintain sway over greater than half the nation, staging near-daily, lethal assaults throughout Afghanistan.

Khalilzad’s year-long peace mission has been Washington’s most devoted push for peace, focusing not simply on the Taliban, Afghanistan’s authorities and distinguished Afghan powerbrokers but in addition on Pakistan and Russia, in addition to Iran, which has skilled Afghan fighters referred to as the Fatimayoun Brigade that fought alongside Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Syria.

Khalilzad has centered his efforts on regional gamers virtually as a lot as on the Taliban and Afghan authorities interlocutors. Earlier this 12 months, the US launched a press release signed by the US, China and Russia supporting Khalilzad’s peace efforts that known as not only for an settlement on US and NATO troop withdrawal and Taliban anti-terrorism ensures but in addition a promise for intra-Afghan talks during which Afghans would determine the destiny of their nation in addition to the phrases of a cease-fire.

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