Moscow conference 'futile' with no envoys from Afghan govt.

TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (MNA) – A former Taliban leader said the inter-Afghan reconciliation talks in Moscow will bear no fruit with the Kabul government not having any representatives at the event.

Syed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban justice minister, made the remarks over the peace conference on Afghanistan hosted by Russia on Friday. The meeting was billed by Moscow as an attempt to bring the Taliban and the Afghan government closer to direct peace talks.

The Kabul government did not send a delegation. Instead, members of the High Peace Council (HPC), a government-appointed body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, attended the event, where they repeated Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks without pre-conditions.

Seyed Akbar Agha reiterated that Moscow conference will have no result since one side was missing in the meeting.

“Taliban participated in the meeting to present its demands and suggestions,” he added.

Moscow says it invited representatives from the United States, India, Iran, China and Pakistan, as well as five former Soviet republics in Central Asia to the meeting, which is an opportunity to "open a new page" in Afghanistan's history.

The meeting ended without the sides agreeing on a path to direct dialogue, the delegations from the Taliban and HPC said.

Pointing to the US’s long-lasting interference in the war-torn country, Syed Akbar Agha said, the US has never sought to bring peace and security to Afghanistan.

He stressed that during the confernce, Taliban’s argument focused on the departure of US troops from Afghanistan.

The former Taliban chief said Russia is aiming to boost its relations with both Afghan government and Taliban to reduce the role of the US in Afghanistan.

MR/4453548

News Code 139477

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