A video was posted online shows Afghan Taliban delegation arriving in Moscow and getting greeted by Russian officials for the Afghan peace talks in Russia.
The delegation, led by chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met Afghan politicians, including senior regional leaders and candidates challenging President Ashraf Ghani in this year’s presidential election amid gathering diplomatic efforts to end the 18-year war.
This is one the biggest wonders of modern history……an unimaginable geopolitical and military phenomenon…
Rag tag Afghan Taliban, not backed by any govt in the world, getting a vvip reception in Moscow…an enemy they defeated earlier & –
now defeating the US. pic.twitter.com/JVYK9732XU
— Zaid Hamid (@ZaidZamanHamid) May 29, 2019
A statement issued by the talk’s participants said the sides “discussed the continuation of intra-Afghan talks” and “foreign troop withdrawal” among other issues, but added that no agreement was made “because reaching agreements needed more discussions”.
The visit to Moscow by 14 members of the Taliban was part of a two-day tour that included an event on Tuesday marking 100 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and Afghanistan. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Kabul’s ambassador to Russia attended the ceremony.
Members of the extremist insurgent group have visited Russia three times in the last year in a sign of Russia’s deepening role as a broker in the decades-long conflict. The latest visit comes as Taliban leaders have intensified efforts to negotiate a draw-down of some 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan with United States officials.
US officials have accused the Kremlin of muddying the waters of their negotiations with the Taliban and arming the insurgent group, claims which Moscow denies.