Taleban visits Russia days after Trump says talks 'dead'

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Moscow - It was the Taleban's first international visit following the collapse of talks with Washington.



By AP

Published: Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:23 PM

Last updated: Sat 14 Sep 2019, 9:13 AM

A negotiating team from the Taleban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative said, just days after US President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.
The delegation had held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin's envoy for Afghanistan.
The visit also was confirmed to The Associated Press by a Taleban official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
It was the Taleban's first international visit following the collapse of talks with Washington. The team was being led by Mullah Sher Mohammad Stanikzai.
In a weekend tweet, Trump had called off negotiations and canceled a meeting he said he wanted to have with Afghan government leaders and the Taleban at the Camp David presidential retreat.
Moscow has twice this year hosted meetings between the Taleban and prominent Afghan personalities.
Shaheen told the Taleban's official site on Tuesday that the group was still communicating with US negotiators, at least to find out what to do next.
Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has focused his efforts on regional players almost as much as on the Taleban and Afghan government interlocutors. Earlier this year, the US released a statement signed by the US, China and Russia supporting Khalilzad's peace efforts that called not just for an agreement on US and NATO troop withdrawal and Taleban anti-terrorism guarantees but also a promise for intra-Afghan talks in which Afghans would decide the fate of their country as well as the terms of a cease-fire.


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