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Abdullah Will Lead Delegation To Moscow Summit

A 12-member delegation of the Afghan government led by Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, will attend the Moscow meeting that will be held on Thursday, the reconciliation council confirmed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement, said it appreciates efforts made by Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and regional and international partners for peace and emphasises the importance of continuing these efforts and cooperation.

“Appreciating the importance of the Troika meeting on Afghanistan peace in Moscow and the proposed peace conference in Turkey, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers them complementary to the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha and not as a substitute to it,” the statement said.

The ministry said the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is currently engaged in negotiations with the Taliban delegation in Doha and these negotiations will continue in the future.

The United States Department of State has confirmed that the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, will participate in the upcoming Moscow conference that is scheduled for the end of this week.

“Well, to answer your question on the peace process in Afghanistan as well as Special Representative Khalilzad, as of last week the Secretary said we are engaging in the region and (with) international partners to try to accelerate progress towards a political settlement, and as a part of our ongoing efforts to encourage this important peace process, Ambassador Khalilzad does plan to attend the meeting in Moscow,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

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“This meeting will complement all other international efforts to support the Afghanistan peace process and also reflects the international community’s concerns about the progress to date,” he added.

The High Council for National Reconciliation confirmed that Abdullah Abdullah, head of the council, along with a high-ranking delegation, will travel to Moscow on Wednesday to attend the conference.

The meeting comes amid new developments in the peace efforts in Afghanistan, which include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s letter to President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, and the U.S.-proposed draft for Afghan peace shared with Afghan leaders.

According to the reconciliation council, the delegation includes Parliament Speaker Rahman Rahmani, former president Hamid Karzai, ex-vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, former vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili, Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, State Minister for Peace Affairs Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Chief Negotiator Masoom Stanekzai, republic negotiator Matin Bek, republic negotiator Nader, republic negotiator Habiba Sarabi, Senate Deputy Speaker Alam Izedyar.

(By arrangement with Tolo News)