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Afghan and Taliban politicians to meet in Moscow despite Kabul protest

Afghan and Taliban politicians to meet in Moscow despite Kabul protest

The two-day meeting in the President Hotel in Moscow gathered Afghan and Taliban politicians to discuss the latest developments in a peace deal. Despite Kabul protest, officials from both sides have arrived in the Russian capital.

The Afghan President Ghani has spoken out against the Moscow gathering between his political opponents and the Taliban, but the important fact is the meeting comes shortly after the Taliban and the White House hailed progress towards a peace deal.

The former President Hamid Karzai set to meet with Taliban representatives in Moscow on Tuesday. The meeting will mark the most significant contact between Afghan politicians and the Taliban in almost two decades of war. That move of the ex-president Karzai has angered sitting president Ghani whose government has once again been excluded from talks concerning Afghanistan’s future.

Mr Ghani has spoken out against the Russian meeting between his government opposition and the insurgents which has continued to refuse to meet with sitting Kabul officials.

Moscow negotiations as the most significant contact between Kabul and the Taliban in years

The Russian Embassy in Kabul issued a statement late Saturday on behalf of the “Afghan Society of Russia”. The group said it had invited “influential figures” to the dialogue in the President Hotel in Moscow.

Afghan leader Ghani has criticized such initiatives for undermining the peace process concerning the struggling Afghan state, as Taliban officials have appeared ready to meet with anyone- including the US and Russia– except for the sitting government.

Instead, the Taliban, which refuses to recognise Ghani’s government, will sit down in Moscow with some of the president’s main opponents to discuss the country’s future — stirring frustrations in Kabul.Among those who have confirmed their attendance in Moscow is Haneef Atmar, who is running against Ghani in the elections. Former warlord Atta Muhammad Noor and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai — both Ghani rivals — are also attending Moscow meeting.