Taliban representatives said withdrawal of foreign forces is the only option for bringing peace to Afghanistan.
Afghan Peace Discussed At Moscow Summit
The Moscow summit on Afghanistan’s peace was held on Friday where representatives of the Taliban and envoys from 11 countries including the United States had participated.
A delegation from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) also attended the meeting.
Inaugurating the meeting, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he hopes Moscow summit will provide the ground for direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
Lavrov said Afghanistan should not change into a competition field between powerful countries once again.
He said Daesh with support from foreign countries wants to find a footprint in Afghanistan and from there expand its activities to the Central Asia and further. Lavrov said the countries attended in Moscow meeting want to help Afghanistan eradicate such a threat.
“Our countries are facing with international insurgency and one of their targets is Afghanistan. Daesh is the vanguard of these groups and with support from foreigners it try to make a place for itself in Afghanistan and from there expand to the Central Asia and further. The objective of all these countries is to support Afghans to eradicate this threat,” said Lavrov.
Taliban representatives meanwhile said the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is the only way for maintaining security.
“At the first phase, we are talking with Americans about the withdrawal of their forces from Afghanistan. When we reach a solution about their pullout of forces, then we enter a second phase among the Afghans how to bring about peace in Afghanistan,” said Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a Taliban representative who attended Moscow meeting.
“When the occupier forces show flexibility and announce they will withdraw from Afghanistan, then we will have no problems among the Afghans,” said Abdul Salam Hanafi, another Taliban representative.
Meanwhile, an HPC member who attended the meeting said there will be no need for presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan after peace is established in the country.
“We represent all Afghans. When peace is settled, then there is no need for the presence of Americans in Afghanistan,” said Haji Din Mohammad, HPC member.
No representative however has attended Moscow meeting from the Afghan government.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) meanwhile said the Afghan government welcomes efforts by any country that could lead to peace.
MoFA in a statement said the HPC has participated in Moscow Summit in its own capacity and does not represent the Afghan government.
“Based on the agreement between us and Russia, this summit should result in direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Also, we demand Russia not to let Taliban to use this meeting as a tool,” MoFA spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi said.
Afghanistan former ambassador to Moscow Abdul Qayum Kochi however was among those participated in the summit.
Sources from government said they are not aware of Kochi’s presence at the summit and that he has no job in government and does not represent the Afghan government.