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Kremlin Says Taliban Confirmed Attendance At Moscow Talks Next Week

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar, who led previous negotiations on behalf of the militant group, attends an international peace conference in Moscow on March 18.

Taliban representatives have confirmed they will attend next week's talks on Afghanistan due to be held in Moscow next week, a senior Russian official said October 15.

Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin's special representative on Afghanistan, said in comments to Russian news agencies that the group had confirmed it will take part in the meeting scheduled for October 20 but had yet to announce the composition of its delegation.

Russia hosted an international conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China, and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.

Since then, U.S.-led forces have withdrawn from the war-torn country after two decades of war and the Taliban took over following a blitz offensive that toppled the internationally recognized government.

After the Taliban takeover, Moscow has voiced concern about the possibility of Islamist militants infiltrating the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and has held military exercises in Tajikistan, beefing up equipment at its military base there.

With reporting by TASS and Reuters