Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Moscow [Russia], Sept 14 (ANI): Russian President's special representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov on Friday met a delegation of the Taliban in Moscow and emphasised the need for resumption of peace talks between the militant group and the United States to end 18-year of war in Afghanistan.

"Russian Presidential Special Representative for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Zamir Kabulov received the Taliban delegation in Moscow," Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

"The Russian side emphasised the need to resume talks between the United States and the Taliban... The Taliban, in turn, reaffirmed its readiness to continue dialogue with Washington," it said.

The meeting between Russia and Taliban came days after US President Donald Trump had called off the negotiations with Taliban and cancelled a "secret meeting" with the group's representatives at Camp David in the wake of the Kabul terror attack, which claimed 12 lives, including an American soldier.

Despite Trump's decision, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the administration is still working towards a deal but it will not proceed until the Taliban delivers on its commitments.

The talks between the US and the Taliban began last October in Qatar. The US side was led by its Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who has held a series of talks with Taliban, the Afghan government and neighbouring countries to reach a consensus to end the conflict.

Earlier, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the Trump administration had reached a deal 'in principle' to withdraw over 5,000 troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban to not allow the war-torn country to be used as a base for attacks abroad. (ANI)

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