Taliban holds consultations with Russia as US’ Trump calls off Afghan Peace Process

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Moscow, Sep 14: The Taliban representatives have held talks with Russian officials in capital Moscow, a few days after United States President Donald Trump announced the ongoing peace talks with the insurgent group was “dead” post Kabul terror attacks.

The group’s Qatar-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen confirmed the discussions in Moscow on Friday, stating the Taliban team of the delegation held consultations with Russian special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov.

During the meeting, Moscow stressed over the need of the resumption of peace talks between the US and Taliban, while the militants’ delegation reiterated their willingness to relaunching negotiations with America, according to a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson cited by TASS news agency.

On Saturday, Trump, in a series of tweets, confirmed he was calling off the secret negotiations, scheduled for Sunday with the group’s representatives and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at Maryland’s Camp David in the United States.

Trump, via tweets, has said he “called off” scheduled peace talks and “cancelled” a scheduled secret meeting with the group’s “major leaders”. He took this decision post Taliban declaration it was behind a terror attack in Afghan capital Kabul that claimed the life of an American troop and other 11 people.

On Sunday, Taliban said Trump’s move would lead to a further loss of US assets and lives. “The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks,” a statement said.

The Taliban has on Sunday condemned United States President’s announcement of the suspension of ongoing peace negotiations with the insurgent group to put an end to 18-year-long civil war and crisis in Afghanistan and termed Trump’s decision as an “anti-peace” move.

Shaheen said Trump’s withdrawal from the Afghan peace process came as a shock to them as the peace talks had concluded “successfully” and an arrangement was to be declared soon.

“It was astonishing for us because we had already concluded the peace agreement with the American negotiating team,” Shaheen told Al Jazeera.

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee has issued a subpoena to Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, on Thursday, asking him to confront the council next week over the failure of Afghan Peace Process with the insurgent group, Taliban, aimed at putting an end to 18-year-long war and crisis in Afghanistan.

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