A group of Afghan politicians led by former President Hamid Karzai and members of the Taliban led by the deputy leader of the group Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will likely hold discussions on establishing peace in Afghanistan as they are attending a ceremony on 100 years of Afghanistan-Russia diplomatic relations.
Besides Karzai, other Afghan politicians, including presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar, High Peace Council Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili, vice presidential candidate Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor and former Jihadi leader Mohammad Ismail Khan, are in Moscow to attend the ceremony.
Taliban in a statement on Monday said a 14-member delegation led by the deputy leader of the group Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will attend the ceremony in Moscow.
The ceremony will be held on Tuesday.
“We invited both the Taliban and Afghan politicians to attend a solemn meeting dedicated to 100 years of diplomatic relations. They have the right and desire to communicate after that, and they will have such an opportunity, the Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said as quoted by TASS news agency.
The High Peace Council’s deputy spokesman Assadullah Zaeeri said on Monday that such meetings will be proved helpful in reaching direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, something the Taliban has been denying for a long time.
“We are trying to explain the ideas of the people of Afghanistan regarding the peace process from every platform; therefore, Mr. Khalili will attend the meeting,” he told TOLOnews.
Sibghatullah Ahmadi, a spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Latif Bahand, Afghanistan's ambassador in Moscow, will attend the ceremony on behalf of the Afghan government.