15:22 GMT +319 November 2017
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    In this October 23, 2016 image, a US military helicopter is seen flying toward Bagram airbase from Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Russia Not Going to Use Armed Forces in Afghanistan Amid US MOAB Strike

    © AFP 2017/ Thomas WATKINS
    Middle East
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    President Vladimir Putin hopes that Russia will never be forced to deploy its Armed Forces and units in Tajikistan toward settlement efforts in neighboring Afghanistan, and believes that all of that country’s problems will be resolved peacefully.

    “This is a very dangerous area for us all. We already know examples, tragic examples, when militants crossed the border from Afghanistan. I am not talking here about drug trafficking and criminals infiltrating our countries,” Putin told the Mir broadcaster in an interview published Wednesday.

    Deputy foreign ministers of 12 countries were meeting in Moscow on Friday in an effort to build up genuine regional cooperation on facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan.

    In an interview with Sputnik Dari, military and political analyst Pyotr Goncharov said that the countries that took part in the Moscow conference are either part of the Afghan crisis or are looking for ways to solve it.

    “In February, Moscow organized six-party consultations by representatives of Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan and Russia, and now we added to this a quintet of Central Asian countries, plus the United States,” Goncharov added.

    Taliban representatives were not invited and were represented at the Moscow meeting by Pakistan, which had reportedly been authorized to outline the terms of the Islamists’  participation in the peaceful resolution of the Afghan crisis.

    “As for the United States, it continues to play a central role in the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan, even though it doesn’t look like the Americans are too eager to resolve the Afghan problem,” Pyotr Goncharov noted.

    Ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “what the US is going to do with Afghanistan remains anyone’s guess.”

    On Thursday, the Pentagon used the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal against a large group of Daesh terrorists in Afghanistan.

    The nine-ton GBU-43 bomb, dubbed "the Mother of All Bombs," was dropped from a MC-130 plane in Nangarhar province, targeting underground facilities and a system of tunnels used by terrorists.

    The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) is a large-yield conventional non-nuclear bomb which was considered to be the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever developed at the time of its creation. The cost of a single MOAB is $16 million.

    This was the first time the bomb, in service since 2003, was dropped in a combat action.

    At least 82 militants were killed as a result of the bomb strike, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor’s office.

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    Related:

    Putin: Russia Hopes Never to Use Forces in Tajikistan Over Afghanistan Crisis
    Putin: Situation in Afghanistan Concerning, Decisive Actions Needed
    Tags:
    bomb strike, problem, peace process, conference, threats, Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), Daesh, Russian Foreign Ministry, Pentagon, Attaullah Khogyani, Pyotr Goncharov, Rex Tillerson, Maria Zakharova, Vladimir Putin, Afghanistan, Russia
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