Talks on Afghanistan, never said with Taliban, MEA spokesperson clarifies

Taliban join Moscow talks to kick start Afghanistan negotiations

Taliban at Afghanistan talks table today, Delhi sending ‘non-officials’

Those meetings, though, have been described as "talks before talks" and have yet to lead to more direct negotiations with the United States.

The first round of the Moscow format was held on April 14 previous year, when India was represented by Mittal, along with deputy foreign ministers and senior officials from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. "The meeting in Moscow helped move things in this direction". "They want a US-sponsored solution to the issue". U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion that was launched to dismantle al-Qaida and topple the Taliban. "We have told them that the key party is Afghanistan itself". The attack on an army outpost in Takhar province happened as the USA envoy, Khalilzad arrived in Afghanistan to kick off his peace tour.

The United States will send an observer to an Afghan peace conference that begins in Moscow on Friday but it will send a high-level delegation to another Afghan conference in Geneva later this month.

"A delegation from the HPC, under the leadership of the deputy head of the council Hajji Deen Mohammad will attend the Moscow peace meeting on Afghanistan, the main agenda of the meeting will be the start of direct peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the armed Afghan Taliban". We have decided that non-officials will be participating.

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Pakistan confirmed on Thursday the US -led peace initiative prompted Islamabad to release a senior jailed Taliban leader last month.

"Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level". "This is a meeting to debate the current situation in Afghanistan". The first meeting was held during the visit of Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to Kabul on July 22 for the inaugural session of APAPPS.

It is believed that the Afghan government backed out of the September 4 meeting under USA pressure. However, this time around, the country seems to be handling both the United States and Russian Federation in an effective manner. "It was also chose to observe the agreed timelines and procedures for repatriation of various categories of these persons to Afghanistan", said a statement released by the foreign ministry.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged and agreed on rules of procedure for the meetings of the working group.

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APAPPS WG works on principles of direct, regular contact among relevant ministries in both countries, under the umbrella of the politico-diplomatic WG co-chaired by the two ministries of foreign affairs.

The meeting discussed matters related to Afghan refugees and other categories of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan.

India on Thursday said it will participate in the meeting being hosted by Russian Federation on Afghanistan at a "non-official level" in Moscow where representatives of the Taliban will be present. Sinha is a fellow with the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (a think-tank funded by MEA), and Raghavan is the director general of the Indian Council of World Affairs (another MEA-funded think-tank).

Ms Nauert said Ambassador Wells was sent to Geneva to discuss preparations for the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan.

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