Afghanistan forms high-level delegation for Moscow meet

Kabul, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- The Afghan government on Tuesday announced that it had formed a “high-level” delegation led by the president for the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, to participate in the upcoming international conference in Moscow, which will also be attended by the Taliban.

On Thursday, “Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will attend the Moscow meeting and our delegation will probably have 14-16 members,” an HCNR official told EFE on the condition of anonymity.

The source said that the delegation would set off from Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Other members of the group include the speaker of the lower house of the parliament, Mir Rahman Rahmani, former president Hamid Karzai, leader of Hizb-e-Islami Party Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Hazara minority community leader Karim Khalili, the official said.

“Discussions are still on to choose some remaining members,” said the source.

The government’s announcement comes a day after the Taliban released information about its own 10-member high-level delegation for the Moscow meeting, led by their deputy chief of political Affairs and head of the Political Office Mullah Baradar Akhund.

Apart from Kabul’s representatives and the insurgents, the multilateral event in Moscow – set to kick off on Mar. 18 – is also expected to be attended by special envoys from Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan.

The conference is part of international efforts, led by the US, to speed up the intra-Afghan peace negotiations that kicked off on Sep. 12 in Doha but have failed to produce significant advances even after six months of dialog.

At the same time, Turkey is also organizing an international conference in April on the suggestion of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, aiming to boost the Afghan peace process.

Afghanistan has been witnessing growing violence, especially invovling targeted killings against civilians in urban areas, despite the ongoing peace talks and the signing of the historical Doha agreement between the US and the Taliban in February 2020.

The majority of these attacks have targeted civilians, including human rights activists, intellectuals and journalists, with many of them being women. EFE-EPA


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