Envoys from China, Pakistan, Russia and the US to discuss Afghan peace process

Representatives from Russia, China, the US and Pakistan are in Moscow today to explore efforts to resume the stalled talks

afghan peace talks

Photo: Reuters

Representatives from Russia, China, the US and Pakistan are in Moscow today to explore efforts to resume the stalled talks between Washington and the Taliban and start an intra-Afghan dialogue.

Amid the effort to revive talks, US President Trump has continued to call for the withdrawal of the estimated 14,000 American soldiers still in Afghanistan. While US Defense Secretary Mark Esper believes Washington can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting its fight against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, the US is refraining from any further withdrawal in order to maintain a key bargaining chip in negotiations.

Making significant progress in the peace process will require a US withdrawal in exchange for Taliban security guarantees. Such a deal could then pave the way for ceasefire and power-sharing talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

A fresh round of intra-Afghan peace discussions will be held in China on October 28 and 29, the first meeting between the Taliban and Kabul since July. Today’s meeting could see efforts to revive talks on the US side, raising hopes that new negotiations could be underway by the year’s end.

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