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    A general view of a neighborhood during the night in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Feb, 13, 2011

    Afghanistan, Russia Postpone Moscow-Format Talks - Afghan President's Office

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The consultations on Afghanistan in the Moscow format have been postponed following a phone call between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Afghan president's office said Monday.

    "President Ashraf Ghani spoke by phone with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and an agreement was reached on postponing the events related to the meeting in the Moscow format. Both countries are jointly preparing to hold this meeting," the statement said.

    READ MORE: Moscow Invited Taliban to Talks to Bring 'Collective Call for Peace' — FM

    The Russian Foreign Ministry, in its turn, also confirmed that the consultations would be postponed.

    "[The sides] discussed urgent issues of bilateral interaction in issues of Afghan settlement, including the regular meeting of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan co-chaired by the two countries. The Afghan president, supporting in principle the idea of organizing a Moscow meeting, proposed to postpone it due to the need to work out a consolidated position of the Afghan side on the issue," the ministry said.

    The sides agreed to "jointly work out a new date for the meeting through diplomatic channels," it said.

    Last Thursday, Kabul said that it would not attend the multinational conference on the future of Afghanistan, which was set to be held in Moscow on September 4, claiming that the decision was not related to the recent US refusal to take part in the event.

    Previously, the Afghan Foreign Ministry stated that it would engage in in the "Moscow-format" consultations on Afghanistan with a condition that the Taliban agreed to direct talks with representatives of the Afghan government on the sidelines of this event.

    Last week, Russia announced that it had invited officials from 12 countries, including the US, to attend the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan. It is noteworthy, Moscow confirmed that the Taliban movement expected to participate in the upcoming conference. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow format aims to "end the fratricidal war and to establish a peaceful and independent Afghan state free of terrorism and drug threat."

    A US Department of State representative expressed doubts that the talks would help to establish peace in Afghanistan. Therefore, Washington stated that it would not participate in the meeting.


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    terrorism, drug, Afghan Foreign Ministry, U.S. Department of State, Taliban, Ashraf Ghani, Sergei Lavrov, Afghanistan, Russia, Kabul
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