18:31 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Afghan Taliban fighters. File photo

    Taliban Representatives Visit Russia, Aim for China and Iran Talks After US Negotiations Stall

    © AFP 2019 / Noorullah Shirzada
    Asia & Pacific
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    The goal of the Taliban envoys is not to help revive talks with the United States but rather to gauge regional support for forcing the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, a high-ranking member of the movement said.

    As the future of talks between the United States and Taliban remains uncertain, the organisation has recently dispatched a delegation to Russia to discuss the possible withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, while also planning similar visits to China, Iran and certain Central Asian states.

    "The purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and President Trump's decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement", a senior Taliban leader in Qatar said as quoted by Reuters.

    The Taliban leader also remarked that the visits’ goal was not to revive talks with the US but rather to gauge the level of "regional support" for forcing Washington to pull its troops out of Afghanistan.

    The news comes after US President Donald Trump cancelled secret talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban leaders at Camp David, following a car bomb attack in Kabul which claimed the life of a US serviceman.

    "When I heard very simply that they killed one of our soldiers and 12 other innocent people, I said there's no way I'm meeting on that basis. There's no way I'm meeting. They did a mistake," Trump told media in the wake of the attack.

    Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that "the complete end to foreign military presence is an inalienable condition of durable peace in Afghanistan."

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    negotiations, Taliban, Iran, China, Russia, Afghanistan
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