Taliban delegation travels to Russia after talks with US collapse
A team of negotiators from the Afghan Taliban has traveled to Russia days after the collapse of year-long negotiations between the US and the militant group.
Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Russia's TASS news agency on Friday that the group's delegation had met with Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Afghanistan, in Moscow to discuss recent developments regarding the peace process in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that during the meeting, the Russian side had underlined "the necessity of the resumption" of US-Taliban talks and that the militant outfit had, in turn, reiterated its "readiness to continue dialogue with Washington."
Meanwhile, a senior Taliban leader in Qatar said, “The purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and [US] President [Donald] Trump’s decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement."
Moscow has already hosted two rounds of talks between Taliban negotiators and prominent Afghan figures.
The recent trip to Moscow was the first international visit by the Taliban since Monday, when Trump declared talks with the group “dead” after he called off a Camp David meeting with militant negotiators as well as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, citing a deadly Taliban car bombing in Kabul.
“They thought that to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position when they did that they killed 12 people … And you can’t do that can’t do that with me. So they’re dead as far as I’m concerned," he said.