Earlier this week, Russia announced plans for Afghan peace talks in Moscow. The talks, to be held in September, were to include the Taliban and 12 nations, mostly regional powers. It’s not clear how many are attending, however.
The US and Afghanistan have both rejected the proposal. The US said they didn’t want to participate because they weren’t at a previous Moscow meeting. Afghan officials had a more subtle objection, that any other nations were invited.
Afghan officials say they will only participate in direct, one-on-one peace talks with the Taliban, and don’t want anything to do with multinational talks. This same objection was presented to the US after recent US meetings with the Taliban, as Afghan officials fear being cut out.
That said, Afghanistan isn’t spurning Russia outright, but is rather requesting he Russian Foreign Ministry make an effort to try to put together a separate, direct negotiation with the Taliban. Russian officials say they are ready to help with such efforts.