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Russia Foreign Ministry Says Afghan Peace Talks Delayed

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (file photo)
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (file photo)

Russia's Foreign Ministry says that multiparty talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan have been postponed, after a request from Afghanistan's president.

The ministry said in a statement on August 27 that the 12-party talks, which were scheduled to include representatives from the Taliban, would be put off for another date.

The September 4 talks were set to be the biggest push for a peace deal in Afghanistan in years.

Last week, representatives for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said his government would not be attending, saying the process should be led by the Afghan government. Ghani also offered a monthlong cease-fire with the Taliban, a move that was supported by Washington.

The United States, which has thousands of troops in the country, also declined to attend the Moscow talks, asserting they were unlikely to be successful.

The decision comes as the Taliban escalates attacks across Afghanistan and has refused direct talks with Kabul.

U.S. officials last week said the White House intends to bring back Afghan-born diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad as a new special envoy on Afghanistan.

Alice Wells, a top State Department official overseeing the region, last month met Taliban officials in Doha.

With reporting by Reuters
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