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Offbeat Russia says still waiting for Kabul to respond to Taliban talks invitation

20:36  23 august  2018
20:36  23 august  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Why the Taliban’s Assault on Ghazni Matters for Afghanistan and the U.S.

  Why the Taliban’s Assault on Ghazni Matters for Afghanistan and the U.S. The Taliban besieged yet another major Afghan city, this time less than 100 miles from the country’s capital city, Kabul.Since Friday, Taliban fighters have roamed the streets of Ghazni City, a strategic urban center less than 100 miles from the capital, Kabul, killing dozens of Afghan soldiers and police officers, cutting communications and severing the main highway from Kabul to the south and beyond.

Russia has invited 12 countries, including the United States, to international peace talks in Moscow on Sept. 4 as it has been taking on a more prominent role on The United States has declined Russia 's invitation , while an Afghan foreign ministry official said on Wednesday that Kabul would not take part

An Afghan security guard walks during a Taliban attack in Ghazni city, Afghanistan August 12, 2018.Picture taken August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer.

a fire truck parked in front of a building: An Afghan security guard walks during a Taliban attack in Ghazni city, Afghanistan © REUTERS/Stringer An Afghan security guard walks during a Taliban attack in Ghazni city, Afghanistan

The Afghan government has not yet responded to Russia's invitation to take part in peace talks on Afghanistan that will include the Taliban, the TASS news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Thursday.

Russia has invited 12 countries, including the United States, to international peace talks in Moscow on Sept. 4 as it has been taking on a more prominent role on Afghanistan.

The United States has declined Russia's invitation, while an Afghan foreign ministry official said on Wednesday that Kabul would not take part, adding that the government would hold direct talks with the Taliban without the involvement of foreign powers.

However, TASS cited Zakharova as saying on Thursday that Moscow was still finalizing the list of participants in the talks and had not received an official answer from Kabul.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Taliban to travel to Russia for Afghanistan talks .
Representatives of the Taliban will take part in talks in Moscow next month on the future of Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday. "The initial response is positive - they plan to take part in this meeting. I hope it will be productive," he told reporters in the southern Russian city of Sochi. Moscow has taken an increasingly active role in efforts to persuade the Taliban to enter into a political settlement with the US-backed Afghan government, with which it has been in a lengthy conflict with.

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