Moscow conference on Afghanistan kicks off in Moscow

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – The second round of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan are kicking off Friday in the Russian capital.

Notably, the meeting marks the first time the Taliban and Afghan government meet for direct talks at a high level.

The conference is being held at the level of deputy foreign ministers and related special representatives.

Addressing participants at the conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the meeting is meant to seek paths to national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Before the meeting, Habiba Sarabi, a member of the Afghan High Peace Council delegation, said the Afghan government delegation came to Moscow to talk to the Taliban.

"Our expectations are to talk to the members at this meeting," she said.

She added: "We came here for a political solution. We appreciate the efforts of any country that tries to contribute to Afghan peace."

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