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    Moscow Blames Postponement of Afghan Presidential Election on US Influence

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The decision to delay the presidential election in Afghanistan by three months was influenced by the United States, which seeks to manipulate the voting process in the country to its own benefit, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

    "The decision to postpone the election, apparently, was made under the influence of the United States, which needs additional time to prepare for the upcoming vote according to their own template and build the peace process in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan according to their own scenario," the statement read.

    The ministry noted that the postponement was done despite the Afghan president's insistence that the time frame of the election should be strictly followed, adding that those who organized the delay had no concern for the Afghan people's attitudes.

    "The initiators of this move are clearly not embarrassed by the outrage of many citizens of our country, something that, in the conditions of Afghanistan, could aggravate the internal political situation with far-reaching consequences… Apparently, the opinion of the Afghan society fades into the background for the current leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan when it comes to the interests of Washington," the statement read.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry further questioned who in reality made the decisions on key issues in Afghanistan, adding that this situation shed light on why Afghan authorities refused to come to Moscow in November 2018 to conduct a meeting with Taliban representatives.

    "It does not seem surprising that the country's leadership refused to send its official representatives to the meeting of the Moscow format in November last year, despite the opportunity for the first time since the beginning of the Afghan conflict to engage in dialogue with the emissaries of the Taliban movement. At the same time, representatives of Kabul hurried to a recent meeting in Abu Dhabi, held under the auspices of Washington, where, however, the Taliban simply did not allow them to sit at the negotiating table," the statement read.

    The ministry concluded saying that all these facts clearly showed "who in reality determines the fate of the Afghan nation today."

    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in conversation with U.S. president Donald Trump during a working session of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017
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    The comment refers to the announcement made on December 30 by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, saying that the country's presidential election, initially scheduled for April 20, would be pushed back to July 20. The chairman of the commission explained its decision by pointing out the problems the country faced during the parliamentary elections in October 2018 and the preparation of talks on a peace agreement with the Taliban radical movement.

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    presidential election, Russia, United States, Afghanistan
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