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Russia Hosts Afghan Talks, Calls For Inclusive Government

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Members of the political delegation from the Afghan Taliban's movement attend talks involving Afghan representatives in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Russia invited the Taliban and other Afghan parties for talks voicing hope they will help encourage discussions and tackle Afghanistan's challenges. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

(AP) — Russia is hosting talks on Afghanistan involving senior representatives of the Taliban and neighboring countries, a round of diplomacy that underlines Moscow’s clout. Opening Wednesday’s talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that “forming a really inclusive government fully reflecting the interests of not only all ethnic groups but all political forces of the country” is necessary to achieve a stable peace in Afghanistan. Russia had worked for years to establish contacts with the Taliban, even though it has designated the group a terrorist organization in 2003 and never took it of the list. Lavrov in his opening speech commended the Taliban for their efforts to stabilize the situation in the country and ensure the operation of state structures.

 

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