Afghan Govt ‘Furious’ as Taliban Heads to Russia for Talks

Taliban will meet Afghan opposition figures in Moscow

A new round of talks involving the Taliban will begin Tuesday in Moscow, and once again Afghanistan’s Ghani government is not invited. The Ghani government is reportedly “furious” and is accusing those in attendance of trying to “gain power.”

This is not an inaccurate assessment, as the negotiations will see the Taliban meeting with dozens of Afghan opposition figures. Among them is former President Hamid Karzai, and Hanif Atmar, who is running to unseat Ghani in this year’s election.

While Russia has agreed to try to get direct Taliban-Ghani negotiations going, as has the United States, the Taliban have been very reluctant to hold any such meetings yet, saying they view Ghani’s government as a powerless puppet who can’t negotiate on anything.

The Taliban seems to be holding off on meeting current officials until a deal on a US pullout is already in place. That has at times been suggested to be close at hand, though US calls for a permanent presence in Afghanistan have threatened at times to derail the peace talks outright.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.