Russia postpones multilateral Afghanistan peace conference

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Russia has postponed a multilateral Afghanistan peace conference that was scheduled to take place in Moscow next month.

The meeting was scheduled to take place on September 4.

Russia invited 12 countries to the conference.

While Kabul and the US turned down the invitation, the Taliban said they were willing to attend.

On Monday, President Ghani spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “to iron out the differences and ensure talks with the Taliban happen in presence of the Afghan government”

Lavrov assured Ghani that the summit dates “will be changed to ensure Afghanistan’s participation”,

In the official statement from Kabul, President Ghani was said to have hailed Moscow for its efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

Earlier this week, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Russia, Abdul Qayyum Kochai, said Russia wants to use the Taliban against ISIL,

Lavrov brushed aside the comments, saying it would be “hypocritical” for “Russia to use the Taliban movement for the fight against ISIL

This year, Moscow rejected an accusation by NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan that it had been supporting and even supplying weapons to the Taliban.

The group is fighting to remove US and other foreign forces and defeat Afghanistan’s Western-backed government.