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    Moscow Invited Taliban to Talks to Bring 'Collective Call for Peace' - FM

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia is hoping that representatives of the Kabul government will attend the consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow on September 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    "The invitation of Taliban representatives to the Moscow meeting is aimed at bringing the collective call to peace in Afghanistan directly to the armed Afghan opposition… We are counting on the participation of representatives of Kabul in the meeting of the Moscow format, which will be held on September 4," the statement said.

    The Afghan Foreign Ministry earlier announced that it would participate in the "Moscow-format" consultations on Afghanistan only if the Taliban agreed to direct talks with representatives of the Afghan government on the sidelines of this event.

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

    "The Afghan government delegation, if the Taliban movement shows at some time willingness to hold direct peace talks, whether in the format of Moscow or in some third place, with sincere intention and deep commitment to peace will take part [in the talks]," the ministry said.

    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. 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."

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    talks, Taliban, Afghanistan, Russia
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