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Top Russian Diplomat Says Moscow, Washington, Kabul To Consult On Taliban Talks


U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (left) and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, shake hands after signing a peace agreement in Doha on February 29.

A top Russian diplomat says Russia, the United States, and Afghanistan will hold video consultations to try and jump-start intra-Afghan peace talks.

Zamir Kabulov, who is Russia's presidential envoy on issues related to Afghanistan and the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's second department of Asia, told Russian media on June 10 that the trilateral video talks will be held on June 15.

According to Kabulov, the talks will involve the U.S. special peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Afghanistan's acting foreign minister, Mohammad Haneef Atmar.

Kabulov's announcement comes two days after Khalilzad held a new round of talks in Qatar with the political chief of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

In February, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement aimed at ending the 18-year war -- the longest military conflict in U.S. history.

The deal lays out a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in return for security commitments from the Taliban.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
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