Russia on Friday backed Taliban’s inclusion into a future interim government in Afghanistan, ahead of talks in Moscow next week aimed at securing peace deals and resolving the conflict. The statement by the foreign ministry came as a May deadline looms for the USA to put an end to its two-decade-long military involvement in the ravaged country. Washington has announced its support and encouraged that Afghan leadership to work towards the establishment of an ‘inclusive government, proposing talks with the Taliban to secure a peace settlement.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova while addressing the reporters said that the formation of an inclusive administration would be a legal solution to the problem of integrating the Taliban into the peaceful political life of Afghanistan. She further added that the decision should be made by the Afghan leaders themselves and should be resolved during negotiations on national reconciliation.

Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, while speaking at a news conference in Doha, stated that talks on Afghanistan planned in Moscow this month aim to help peace talks in Doha and are not rival processes. Russia is also going to hold a press conference on Afghanistan in Moscow on March 18.

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Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan has said that the participants who have been invited to attend the meeting have confirmed their visit to the ‘Afghan Peace Talks’ conference going to be held in Moscow. the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad will also be present at the meeting and has confirmed his participation.

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