USA opposes China role in Afghanistan solution

Taliban join Moscow talks to kick start Afghanistan negotiations

"A delegation from the HPC, under the leadership of the deputy head of the council Hajji Deen Mohammad will attend the Moscow peace meeting on Afghanistan, the main agenda of the meeting will be the start of direct peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the armed Afghan Taliban".

The Taliban's attendance will bolster the group's global status, while the meeting gives Moscow the chance to influence peace efforts until now dominated by Washington.

At a media briefing in Washington on Wednesday, US State Department Deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said that his country "believes that all countries should support direct dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to reach an end to the war".

A five-member delegation from the Qatar-based "political office" of the Taliban will take part in Friday's meeting. The U.S. military has accused Iran, Russia, and Pakistan of backing the Taliban.

"The United States believes that all countries should support direct dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to reach an end to the war and we have been clear that no government, including Russian Federation, can be a substitute for the Afghan government in direct negotiations with the Taliban".

Russian Federation had sent invitations to the talks to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the United States and the Afghan Taliban.

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"The Russian side reaffirms its position that there is no alternative to a political settlement in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, as well as Afghanistan's regional partners, need to actively work and coordinate their efforts in this direction", Zakharova told a weekly news conference in Moscow. But Russia's foreign ministry focused attention on the spectacle of delegates from both sides of the line in Afghanistan sitting together at Moscow's President hotel, alongside representatives from Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

"With participation in the meeting, the global status of the Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] will be strengthened even further Such diplomatic efforts of the Islamic Emirate showcase the active, clear and independent diplomacy and policy of the Islamic Emirate in the political field", asserted the insurgent spokesman.

Reportedly, this is the second time that Russian Federation is trying to bring regional powers together in an attempt to bring stability and peace in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Taliban also confirmed it would send a delegation to the meeting.

Pakistan confirmed on Thursday the USA -led peace initiative prompted Islamabad to release a senior jailed Taliban leader last month.

"We welcome Indian as well as other respected countries' participation in the Moscow format talks".

A Taliban delegation met with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar in October to discuss ending the Afghan conflict. "But we didn't say that there will be any talks with the Taliban", he said. This time, the Afghan government hasn't sent its envoys, but several members of the government-appointed Peace Council are attending the event.

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