21:28 GMT05 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova - The conference in Moscow will be held amid a conditional ceasefire between the Taliban movement and the Afghan government, which was announced by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday.

    "We are not going to attend [the Moscow conference]… The peace process should be led by Afghanistan only, only by the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan," Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi told Sputnik on Thursday.

    Ahmadi added that it was an independent decision that had nothing to do with Washington.

    The spokesman also said that the government already had its own peace council that was working on negotiations with the Taliban.

    READ MORE: Moscow Confirms Taliban's Participation in Meeting on Afghanistan

    "Of course we will lead the peace process, but by the way, we have very close relations with Russia and Russia is a big country and a powerful country in the region and one of our friends. And we have very good relations with Russia," Ahmadi concluded.

    On Tuesday, Russia said it had invited officials from 12 countries, including the US, to attend the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan. Moscow also confirmed that the Taliban movement expected to participate in the upcoming conference.

    A US Department of State official, commenting on the talks, stated that Washington would not take part in the meeting, doubting  that the talks would help to establish peace in Afghanistan.


    Moscow Confirms Taliban's Participation in Meeting on Afghanistan
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