August 22, 2018 / 4:26 PM / 3 months ago

Afghanistan will not attend Russia-led peace talks with Taliban: govt. sources

A military helicopter flies over the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan will not attend peace talks hosted by Russia, two senior government officials said Wednesday, a decision that could make Moscow reconsider its plan to invite the Taliban to a multinational conference to discuss the future of the country.

The conference scheduled for Sept. 4 is aimed at bringing Taliban representatives to the negotiating table in Moscow.

Russia has invited 12 countries, including the United States, to the Moscow talks but Washington has declined the invitation.

“We have decided against attending the Moscow conference,” said a official working with the foreign ministry in Kabul, adding that the government will “hold direct talks” with the Taliban, without the direct involvement of foreign powers.

Reporting by Rupam Jain; editing by David Stamp

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