16 Oct 2018 10:41

Date of Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan may be announced this week - newspaper

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) - The Afghan authorities and the Taliban movement (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia) have confirmed they will attend a Moscow-format meeting, a date of which may be announced this week, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Tuesday, citing Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential representative for Afghanistan and the director of the Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department.

"All of the sides have confirmed their attendance. We will probably announce the date this week. The Taliban and the Afghan government will participate in the Moscow-format meeting, which will also involve another ten participants," the newspaper quoted Kabulov as saying.

The official said that Kabul tentatively agreed to attend the upcoming Moscow meeting as a result of negotiations held by the Russian and Afghan Foreign Ministries at the end of last month, according to Izvestia.

"During my meeting with Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister [Nasir Ahmad Andisha] on September 20, we discussed modalities and also how we would hold this session. After it, he returned to Kabul with a report. We received the reply a few days ago," Kabulov said.

Kabulov, however, declined to give Izvestia any preliminary assessments regarding the upcoming talks.

"We are tackling organizational issues at this point. After we have had this meeting, it will then be possible to say whether it has been productive," he said.

Kabulov also said that the destabilization process linked with the return militants of the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist organization (banned in Russia) from Syria is continuing in Central Asia, according to Izvestia.

The Taliban movement has been designated as a terrorist organization and outlawed under Russian legislation.

Islamic State is a terrorist organization, banned in Russia.