India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the decision reflects India's support to all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability, and prosperity to the country. Kumar also slammed the opposition parties for their remarks in this regard and questioned, "Don't know how are people concluding that India will hold talks with the Taliban".
"Concerned with unabated violence, the (two) sides resolved to work through the Moscow Format, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Contact Group on Afghanistan, and all other recognised formats for an early resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan", the statement said.
The Afghan government and the Taliban both denied that the conference marked direct negotiations for peace.
"This conference was not about direct talks", Taliban spokesman Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai told journalists in translated comments quoted by Interfax news agency.
The meetings ended without the sides agreeing on a path to direct dialogue, the delegations from the Taliban and HPC said.
Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov opened the meeting in a gilded conference room at Moscow's President-Hotel, where the two delegations sat around a circular table along with deputy foreign ministers from other regional countries, including China, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Russia's foreign ministry touted the attendance of the Taliban, who sent a five-person delegation to Moscow from their political office in Doha, as unprecedented for an worldwide conference aimed at peace in Afghanistan, although the meeting produced few concrete results. He said that India maintains an "Afghan-led" reconciliation process. The Moscow meet will be attended by representatives of the Taliban.
It was reportedly the second time a USA diplomat has met with the Taliban after the Trump administration told its foreign representatives to seek direct engagement with the militant group.
This week, Prime Minister Imran Khan held meetings with Chinese president, prime minister, chairman national people's congress and vice president and discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and global issues, including possibility of talks with India, situation in Afghanistan, and counter terrorism cooperation. The Taliban is banned from operating in Russian Federation as it is classified as a "terrorist organisation".
"Considering our main demand is the withdrawal of foreign forces, we will discuss a peaceful resolution with the Americans". Pakistan's foreign office has confirmed Islamabad's participation in the talks. This time, the Afghan government hasn't sent its envoys, but several members of the government-appointed Peace Council are attending the event.
He said that while all peace loving quarters must welcome peace efforts in any part of the world, the fact of the matter is that New Delhi is indulging and interested in Afghan matters only to poke its nose as it doesn't want Pakistan to have good relations with Afghanistan. U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion that was launched to dismantle al-Qaida and topple the Taliban.
A Russian proposal to hold the talks on September 4 had to be cancelled after the U.S. pulled out of them, and the Ghani government opposed them.
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