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Russia to host talks with Afghan leaders, Taliban delegation

Russia to host talks with Afghan leaders, Taliban delegation
FILE PHOTO: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail -
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MOHAMMAD ISMAIL(Reuters)
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Saturday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had agreed to send a group of senior politicians to peace talks in Moscow, at which a delegation representing the Taliban would be present.

Russia in August proposed holding multilateral peace talks in Moscow, and invited 12 countries and the Taliban to attend a summit the following month. But the meeting was postponed after Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government.

In a statement on Saturday, Russia's foreign ministry said the talks were now confirmed to be held on Nov. 9.

"It will be the first time that a delegation from the Taliban's political office in Doha will attend such a high-level international meeting," the foreign ministry said.

The ministry has invited several other countries to send representatives, including India, Iran, Pakistan, China and the United States.

(Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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