Fri, 03 Dec 2021

Moscow [Russia], October 20 (ANI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said that Russia regretted the absence of US officials from the Moscow Format Dialogue on Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the strife-torn country and the international community is urging the group to form an inclusive government.

"We deplore the fact that this time our American colleagues chose not to participate in this event. We have noticed that it is the second time when the US is evading the meeting uniting Russia, China, Pakistan. We hope that it has nothing to do with problems, and perhaps one of the reasons is the fact that the special representatives of the US in Afghanistan recently was replaced and we hope that they are in readiness to work on Afghanistan remains," said Lavrov.

The United States said it would not join this round of talks in the Russian capital due to technical reasons but planned to do so in the future.

"We touch great importance to the work of this mechanism and consider it as one of the most relevant ones from the point of view of regional consensus and creating a shared understanding of further ways of development of the situation in Afghanistan and around it," said Lavrov.

"The main unquestionable benefit of this format is that it unites Afghanistan with all neighbouring countries without exceptions and other influential states of the origin," added Lavrov.

This comes after members of the Extended Troika format on Afghanistan met in Moscow on Tuesday and discussed common threats and humanitarian assistance to Kabul.

The representatives of 10 countries and a high-level Taliban delegation is taking part in the Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan.

The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

Meanwhile, India has also confirmed its participation in the talks. (ANI)

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