comscore Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks ‘dead’ | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks ‘dead’

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Kremlin guards performed in Red Square, in June 2018, with the with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia. A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived, today, in Russia, a representative said, just days after President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

MOSCOW >> A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived today in Russia, a representative said, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

Russian state news agency Tass cited the Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as saying the delegation had held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Afghanistan.

The visit also was confirmed to The Associated Press by a Taliban official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

It was the Taliban’s first international visit following the collapse of talks with Washington. The team was being led by Mullah Sher Mohammad Stanikzai.

In a weekend tweet, Trump had called off negotiations and canceled a meeting he said he wanted to have with Afghan government leaders and the Taliban at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Moscow has been accused of aiding the Taliban as a safeguard against a burgeoning Islamic State affiliate that has close ties to the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, a militant group in Central Asia. Russia has stepped up its defenses in Central Asia and has claimed thousands of IS fighters were in northern Afghanistan

Moscow has twice this year hosted meetings between the Taliban and prominent Afghan personalities.

Shaheen told the Taliban’s official site on Tuesday that the group was still communicating with U.S. negotiators, at least to find out what to do next.

Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has focused his efforts on regional players almost as much as on the Taliban and Afghan government interlocutors. Earlier this year, the U.S. released a statement signed by the U.S., China and Russia supporting Khalilzad’s peace efforts that called not just for an agreement on U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal and Taliban anti-terrorism guarantees but also a promise for intra-Afghan talks in which Afghans would decide the fate of their country as well as the terms of a cease-fire.

Comments (7)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up