Moscow, April 15: Russia has offered to host peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, the Russian foreign ministry said after hosting diplomats from the regional countries for consultations on the Afghan issue in Moscow.
"The third round of consultations on the Afghan issue was attended by representatives of Russia, Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan," the Russian Tass news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry statement, as saying.
Before this meeting, Russia had two meetings for political negotiations. Russia invited the US to be a part of the consultations but the invitation was refused.
"I think just to end it, we just felt that these talks - it was unclear to us what the purpose was," U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said earlier this week explaining Washington's absence.
The main agenda of this regional coordination is to integrate Afghanistan. The participants emphasized the fact that military force cannot solve this issue. Being in a union with UNSC and using the political method, the problem can be resolved.
"The parties reiterated their support for efforts being made by the Kabul government and the country's social and political circles which are aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan. The parties also called upon Taliban leaders to abandon their activities aimed at using military force to resolve the conflict and turn to building direct dialogue on the national reconciliation with the Afghan government," said the Foreign ministry statement.
"The participants welcomed Russia's proposal to provide a platform for the intra-Afghan talks," the statement added.
Since the trilateral meeting between China, Pakistan, and Russia, Russia has been leading the regional initiative. This time also participants agreed to Moscow Format.