The Moscow Talks has drawn a mixed response from members of the public with some saying the two-day meeting between influential Afghan politicians and members of the Taliban could help the peace process, while others say the talks could have a negative impact on the process.
The two-day summit is currently underway in the Russian capital – without Afghan government representation.
One Herat resident, Arifa Sabor, said each person attending the meeting was there for themselves and not to defend national interests.
“Everyone’s stance is based on his own demands, I do not think they will reach a result,” said Sabor.
A Kabul resident concurred but felt the talks could have a negative impact on the overall process.
“The Moscow meeting not only does not have a positive effect but will have negative effects. Because they (delegates) follow their personal interests,” said Faridon Frotan, a Kabul resident.
“Participants at Moscow talks should consider the national interests,” said Ahmad Fahim Farjam, another Herat resident.
President Ashraf Ghani meanwhile said on Tuesday he will not make assumptions about the Moscow talks and will only comment once the outcomes have been released.
Speaking to TOLOnews, Ghani said he is following the talks and the stand points of the delegates but will comment only later.
“Those who have gone to Moscow, should think about what they will say there. They have gone to Moscow, but the point is what will they say in Moscow. (Only once I know) will I comment in this regard, I will not prejudge,” said Ghani.
Ghani also said changes might be made to government’s negotiating team if necessary.
This 12-member team was established recently to negotiate with the Taliban. However, until now, the insurgent group has refused to talk with government.
“If it was necessary, there is no problem (members will be changed). But first we should reach the stage on what will negotiationsinvolve.”
Ghani said the negotiating team’s authorities were specific and they were not fully authorized to make decisions on all the issues related to the peace talks.
Sources close to the Taliban have meanwhile said changes to the team could help the process.
“Neutral people should be on the team. If the members are only government people, then I do not think that it will be acceptable for the other side,” Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of Taliban said.