Taliban meet Afghan politicians in Moscow for peace

Taliban meet Afghan politicians in Moscow for peace

Taliban meet Afghan politicians in Moscow for peace

The clash between the rebels and the security forces lasted two hours.

2001: Taliban are toppled in US-led invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 attacks in the US.

"They arrived there late, fought back and managed to get the checkpoint under control of the check point, " he added.

Inamuddin Rahmani, Kunduz police spokesperson, claimed that the security forces had foiled the attack in which 22 Taliban fighters were killed and 18 wounded.

In the checkpoint attack, the Taliban targeted the local police force in the province's Baghlani Markazi district on Monday night, triggering a gunfight that lasted for nearly two hours, said Safder Mohsini, head of the provincial council.

Afghan authorities rarely make public their battlefield casualties.

Despite opposition from his powerful critics, President Ghani was still able to maintain a strong position due to the backing of his most important ally - Washington. For example, in Moscow, members of the militia said they wanted an "inclusive Islamic system" in Afghanistan with a new constitution, while they also listened to Afghan women's rights activists.

Moscow had made a decision to snub Afghan government officials, sources said, to ensure the participation of the Taliban who refuse to hold talks with representatives of Western-backed President Ashraf Ghani, branding them puppets of the United States. Afghanistan's representatives, including members of the Taliban (radical movement, outlawed in Russia), will discuss at a conference in Moscow on February 5-6 the situation in the republic and try to search for a peaceful way to settle the years-long conflict.

President Ghani and his allies campaign for an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace process, in which the government plays a central role by engaging directly with the Taliban.

But perhaps adhering to the maxim that in global relations and statecraft there are no permanent friends or enemies, all parties that attended the Moscow conclave are working to protect their permanent interests in Afghanistan.

But he said that if the Moscow meeting creates "an opening for real peace talks, it would still be a step forward".

Amrullah Saleh, a Ghani ally, accused those Afghan leaders travelling to Moscow for the Taliban talks - including former president Hamid Karzai - of "begging to terrorists".

Between the choice of the high-security venue itself and the sheer number of visas issued to participants, it appeared the Afghan diaspora group that organized the talks was at least working in coordination with government officials.

One outcome of reduced US leverage is a greater role for the Kremlin, which has worked behind the scenes to solidify influence in Afghanistan. Anyone without formal registration to enter the hotel was not allowed on the premises, and black sedans with Russian license plates and single roof-mounted flashing blue lights - the sign of Kremlin or State Duma officialdom on Russia's roadways - were seen coming and going from the hotel entrance. The organizers say in case of success further meetings could be held.

"What is interesting about the meeting in Moscow is that opposition politicians in the country representing all of the major opposition parties are in Moscow today talking". Domestic television coverage of the event was virtually non-existent.

"We understand that the government needs to be part of these negotiations".

"No power in the country can dissolve the government", said Ghani, who added he was ready to "stand and defend our country".

It was the second time President Ashraf Ghani was frozen out of such talks in recent weeks after the U.S. held entirely separate discussions with the insurgents in Doha without Kabul.

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