Sat, 27 Nov 2021

Washington [US], October 16 (ANI): The United States on Friday said that it cannot confirm at the moment that its representative will be at the Extended Troika meeting on Afghanistan scheduled for October 19 in Moscow.

"We have taken note of the upcoming session in Moscow, but we don't have any meetings or participation to confirm on our end," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing.

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov earlier on Friday had said that Moscow is awaiting for the US to confirm the participation of special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in the upcoming meeting, Sputnik reported.

According to the Russian news agency, a delegation of the Taliban will take part in the Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan. The meeting is being hosted by Russia on October 20.

The delegation will be headed by Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of the interim Afghan government, Afghan Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, wrote on Twitter.

According to his statement, the Taliban plan to hold negotiations with representatives of different countries on issues of mutual interest during their visit to Moscow.

The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, and India, the Russian news agency reported.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Moscow was expecting the arrival of a large Taliban delegation for consultations on Afghanistan next week. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that preparations for contacts on Afghanistan were underway, TASS reported.

India's participation is likely at the level of joint secretary. Meanwhile, India has also confirmed its participation in the talks. The Ministry of External Affairs yesterday said India has received an invitation to the Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan on October 20 and will be participating in it. (ANI)

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