Taliban coming to Moscow | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Taliban coming to Moscow

Members of the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) will take part in a meeting on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Moscow on September 4, Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov told Izvestia. Russian diplomats have stressed many times that it is vital to engage the Taliban in the peace process because for one thing the movement controls more than half of Afghanistan. Russia first invited the Taliban to Moscow for talks on the situation in Afghanistan last year. The movement rejected that invitation but accepted the new one. Having agreed to participate in the Moscow talks, which involve Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the Taliban also stepped up contacts with other countries. In particular, in July, US envoy for South Asia Alice Wells met with Qatari-based Taliban members for the first time in seven years. Moscow showed mixed reaction to contacts between the Taliban and the US. A diplomatic source told Izvestia that though both countries consider ensuring a sustainable peace in Afghanistan to be the common goal, Washington had been lobbying that the objective was to be achieved on its conditions. "They dislike our conditions a lot so I am afraid they will try to deter us," the diplomat added. When Russia launched efforts to engage the Taliban in the peace process and assemble regional players, the Americans were observing it all with dismay, even trying to stymie these activities, Center for Modern Afghanistan Studies Director Omar Nessar told Izvestia. "The reason is that any peaceful solution for Afghanistan will call the US military presence into question, while the US needs it to ensure its control of the region and implement some future projects that we don’t know about yet," the expert explained. "This is piled on to the major standoff between Russia and the United States - their geopolitical fight," Nessar said.