KABUL: A delegation consisting of government officials and political figures left Wednesday for Russia to participate in a peace meeting scheduled to be held in Moscow. A delegation from Taliban militants are also going to participate in the meeting planned to be held on Thursday.
Abdullah Abdullah, head of the government’s reconciliation council who leads the delegation posted photos from the delegation while departing.
The one-day meeting is initiated by the United States, Russia and China. Peace efforts, Qatar talks, end of war, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and formation of an independent and self-sufficient Afghanistan are to be discussed.
Some regional states will also send representatives to the meeting.
Iran which has been invited to the meeting is yet to send representatives.
Another meeting with similar subjects is expected to be in Turkey next month. Mujib Rahimi, Abdullah’s spokesman said that the Moscow meeting would strengthen meetings in Doha and Istanbul.
The Doha meeting began last year, but has had no progress yet.
Rahimi hoped that the regional countries in addition to the United States and Russia help Afghans in gaining peace.
Hamid Karzai former president, Mir Rahman Rahmani parliament speaker, Mohammad Karim Khalili former vice president, Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum another former vice president, Alam Izadyar senator, Massoum Stanakzai head of government negotiating team, Sayed Saadat Mansour Naderi state minister for peace, Nader Naderi member of negotiating team, Matin Beg member of negotiating team and Habiba Sarabi another member of negotiating team and the only woman in the delegation make up the delegation to Moscow.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leade of Hezb-e-Islami was also member of the delegation, but he has gone to Moscow personally, according to reports.
Mohammad Naeem, Taliban’s political spokesman, said that the insurgent group sent a 10-member delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Women rights activists criticized the delegation in which only one woman is seen.
“This is unacceptable and should change,” Shaharzad Akbar, head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said.