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    File, In this Aug. 15, 2016 photo, Taliban suicide bombers stand guard during a gathering of a breakaway Taliban faction, in the border area of Zabul province, Afghanistan

    Russia Outraged by US Claims on Moscow Alleged Support to Taliban - Grushko

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    Russia was outraged by US top military commander's remarks on Moscow alleged support of Taliban terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) and expressed its indignation during recent NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Friday.

    LONDON (Sputnik) — The relevant claims were made by Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations Curtis Scaparrotti last week. In particular, he accused Russia of arms supplies to Taliban.

    "We were outraged when the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said that we allegedly support the Taliban in Afghanistan. And we raised this issue at the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council," Grushko told reporters.

    He noted that all consultation and work carried out by the Russian side was done with direct participation of Afghanistan's government.

    Grushko stressed that a peace conference on Afghanistan, set for April 14, would include all regional players "without whom no lasting political settlement in Afghanistan could be possible."

    On Monday, Russian Defense Ministry denied claims of Russian arms supplies to the Taliban, calling the allegations "absurd." According to ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, Scaparrotti should "require from his employees to spend more time on the quality planning of operations against Taliban instead of justifying failures in Afghanistan by the mystic influence of ‘the hand of Moscow.'"

    Taliban is an Islamist terror organization that seeks to establish a strict Sharia law in Afghanistan.

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    Taliban, NATO, Alexander Grushko, United States, Russia
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