On January 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry called in an official statement for direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban to put an end to the ongoing civil war that destroyed Afghanistan. The Russian Foreign Ministry even offered to provide “an appropriate platform” to host the talks.
“We strongly recommend that negotiations start as soon as possible … to put an end to the civil war,” the ministry said in its statement.
Since 2016, Russia, Pakistan and China have called for direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government on several occasions and warned that there is no military solution to the ongoing war.
Efforts to launch direct talks between the two Afghan sides appear to be already on the way. Reuters revealed earlier that a delegation of the Taliban political office in Qatar visited the Pakistani capital, Islamabad on January 15, to discuss the possibility of restarting peace negotiations with the Afghan government.
According to Reuters, the step was approved by the Taliban’s leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada and the Taliban delegation met with representatives of the Afghan governent including Syed Hamid Gilani, Chairman of Mahaz-e-Milli Party.
Officials of the Afghan government and Mahaz-e-Milli Party didn’t confirm that such talks with the Taliban took place. However, an unnamed source of the Taliban confirmed to Reuters that the meeting was held in Islamabad.
The results of the supposed exploratory talks in Islamabad are not known yet. Several similar attempts to launch a direct negotiation between the Afghan government and the Taliban were made in the last few years. However, all the attempts failed for several reasons including the political tension between Pakistan and the US.