Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks ‘useless’

MOSCOW (AP) — A negotiating group from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a consultant stated, simply days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared useless a take care of the rebel group in Afghanistan.

Russian state information company Tass cited the Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as saying the delegation had held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Afghanistan.

The go to additionally was confirmed to The Related Press by a Taliban official who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to speak to reporters.

It was the Taliban’s first worldwide go to following the collapse of talks with Washington. The group was being led by Mullah Sher Mohammad Stanikzai.

In a weekend tweet, Trump had known as off negotiations and canceled a gathering he stated he needed to have with Afghan authorities leaders and the Taliban on the Camp David presidential retreat.

Moscow has been accused of aiding the Taliban as a safeguard in opposition to a burgeoning Islamic State affiliate that has shut ties to the Central Asian terrorist group, the Islamic Motion of Afghanistan. Russia has stepped up its defenses in Central Asia and has claimed 1000’s of IS fighters had been in northern Afghanistan

Moscow has twice this yr hosted conferences between the Taliban and distinguished Afghan personalities.

Shaheen informed the Taliban’s official web site on Tuesday that the group was nonetheless speaking with U.S. negotiators, no less than to seek out out what to do subsequent.

Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has centered his efforts on regional gamers virtually as a lot as on the Taliban and Afghan authorities interlocutors. Earlier this yr, the U.S. launched an announcement signed by the U.S., China and Russia supporting Khalilzad’s peace efforts that known as not only for an settlement on U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal and Taliban anti-terrorism ensures but in addition a promise for intra-Afghan talks through which Afghans would determine the destiny of their nation in addition to the phrases of a cease-fire.

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Gannon reported from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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