4 Feb 2019 19:33

Russia welcomes intra-Afghan meeting in Moscow - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) - Russia welcomes an intra-Afghan meeting that is to be held in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The Russian side welcomes this initiative of Afghanistan's civil society and believes that direct communication among Afghans themselves could lend inclusivity to the political dialogue within Afghanistan and open up ways for the armed opposition to take part in it. The upcoming meeting will essentially turn the internationally approved principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process into reality," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

"There are forces seeking to disrupt this important event, not least by spreading fake invitations to it on the Internet.

"Moreover, it was alleged that 'under the sign' of an intra-Afghan meeting there will ostensibly be another session of Moscow consultations on Afghanistan which, as is known, involve officials from across the region. We hereby declare under our sole responsibility that these speculations have nothing to do with the reality.

"At the initiative of the leadership of Afghan diasporas living in Russia, CIS and several European and Asian countries, on February 5-6 of this year Moscow is planning to host a meeting involving the authoritative leaders of Afghan political parties and Taliban [banned in Russia] representatives. The aim of the event, as seen by its organizers, is to form a wide inter-Afghan basis for the launch of a peace process in Afghanistan and bring in the main political groups representing the interests of all social strata in that country," the ministry said.