Moscow Hosts Taliban For International Talks On Afghanistan

Members of the Taliban delegation, including its head Abdul Salam Hanafi (third from right) and acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi (center), take part in international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on October 20.

Russia hosted a high-level Taliban delegation for talks attended by officials from China, Pakistan, and eight other countries, as Moscow seeks to assert its influence on Central Asia amid worries about instability or violence spilling from Afghanistan into the region.

The United States did not attend the meeting.

The October 20 conference in Moscow was one of the Taliban’s most significant international meetings since the militants seized control of Kabul from the internationally recognized government in mid-August.

Addressing the gathering, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia recognized Taliban’s “efforts to stabilize the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus,” as terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda were trying to “take advantage” of instability.


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