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US will not join Russia's Afghanistan talks this week: State Department

US will not join Russia's Afghanistan talks this week: State Department

A Taliban fighter sits guard on a vehicle while his comrades are praying at Deh Bori square in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct 18, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

WASHINGTON: The United States will not join international talks on Afghanistan organized by Russia this week but is open to participating in the future, the State Department said on Monday.

Moscow is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Taliban, China and Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative was quoted as saying last week.

"We will not participate in the Moscow talks. The Troika-plus has been an effective, a constructive forum. We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we're not in a position to take part this week," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

Moscow hosted a conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.

Since then, the United States and its allies have withdrawn their troops after 20 years on the ground, the Taliban seized power and the previous government collapsed.

Source: Reuters/ec

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