Afghan govt to attend US, Russia backed peace moots

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Kabul

The Afghan government said on Saturday it would participate in two separate US-and Russian-backed peace conferences in the coming weeks.

The Russian-backed conference is scheduled for March 18, while the US-sponsored one will take place in Turkey next month, officials said.

Peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha have largely stalled.

“The Afghan government will take part in both the Moscow and Turkey conferences,” Hamdullah Mohib, the country’s national security council advisor told reporters in Kabul.

Mohammed Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Reuters it had received an invitation from Moscow, but had not yet decided whether to attend or not.

The Taliban has not made any comment about the proposed meeting in Turkey.

Meanwhile, former aide to Obama and Trump on Afghanistan Laurel Miller says it would be ‘unfathomable’ for US to pull out American forces in next 60 days.

Report says Biden administration believes that Afghan Taliban have not complied with Doha agreement.

Afghan Taliban say Washington has not officially communicated any change in the exit timeline.

The United States may not complete the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan by May 1 as per the Doha agreement with the Afghan Taliban, reported American publication Washington Post.

The administration of former US president Donald Trump had agreed in Doha in February 2020 that the US troops will withdraw from the war-torn country by May 1. Even though the Joe Biden administration is yet to decide on the troop withdrawal, sources within the US government and former officials believe that the deadline may be extended.

Miller believes that the US extension is likely and it is something that the Afghan Taliban are expecting.

The publication reported that the Biden administration believes that the Taliban have not complied with the Doha agreement as violence in Afghanistan continues.

“I think there is some work to do to get them [Afghan Taliban] to full compliance,” a senior administration official told the publication earlier this month.

The official noted that the Joe Biden administration believes the Afghan Taliban have not fully broken off with al-Qaeda.—Agencies