Zamir Kabulov, Russian envoy for Afghanistan arrived in Islamabad on Monday evening and will hold talks with senior Pakistani diplomats on the Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s Daily Times reported.
Taliban political envoys attended a conference in Moscow in November and sat face to face with representatives of the Afghan High Peace Council and Kabul’s envoy to Russia.
Sources told the Daily Times that the Russian envoy is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and will hold talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua that will focus on both countries efforts to find a political solution to the Afghan conflict.
“Pakistani officials will brief Mr Kabolov about the recently held peace talks between the Taliban and the US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar,” the sources said.
According to the report, Russia plans another meeting next month and Kabolov’s discussions are expected to focus on Russian efforts to press for political solution to the Afghan problem.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has welcomed Taliban-US talks but was skeptical about what she described as “US unilateral effort to launch the peace process in Afghanistan.”
“We welcome the US resolve to launch a peace process in Afghanistan, but so far Zalmay Khalilzad’s attempts to convince the Taliban to sit down at the negotiating table with the official delegation from Kabul have failed despite the strong pressure exerted on the Taliban movement by the Americans, several Gulf States and Pakistan,” Zakharova said at her weekly briefing last week, according to the text of the briefing posted online.
“Therefore, it is clearly premature to talk about the results of the US unilateral effort to launch the peace process in Afghanistan, which reaffirms the need to find a collective solution that would take into account the interests of all the neighbouring countries and main partners of Afghanistan,” she said.
Russia also intends to continue holding Moscow meetings together with its partners and look forward to the United States actively joining them as a full participant, to facilitate the early start of a peaceful dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement, she added.
“We remain confident that the Moscow format is optimal for consultations on Afghanistan. During the most recent meeting the participants achieved greater success than the United States alone,” she further said.