The Taliban and representatives from 10 countries, including China, Pakistan and India, will participate in meeting in Russia on Wednesday. The US will not join the talks “due to logistical reasons”.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has revealed that its meeting in Moscow will focus on the establishment of an inclusive government and efforts for a global response to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The military situation in Afghanistan will be also on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Participants of the “Moscow format” talks – representatives of 10 countries and the Taliban – plan to make a joint statement after the meeting, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said Russia will not officially recognise the Taliban for now and wants the group to make good on promises it made when it came to power in Afghanistan.
Lavrov was speaking in southern Russia on the sidelines of a conference organised by the Valdai Discussion Club and ahead of talks in Moscow on Wednesday.
He said the group's promises included, in particular, those on political and ethnic inclusivity in the make-up of the government.
READ MORE: Moscow invites Taliban to Afghanistan talks
Taliban gets aid promise
Russia, China and Pakistan are willing to provide aid to Afghanistan, the Russian foreign ministry said late on Tuesday.
"On October 19, a meeting of the special representatives of the Russian Federation, China and Pakistan for Afghanistan took place in Moscow. The participants exchanged views on common security threats and expressed joint interest in providing urgent humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Moscow is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Taliban, China and Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative was quoted as saying last week
The Moscow format, a mechanism established in 2017 for the Afghanistan issue, includes China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Afghanistan, and other countries.
It held several rounds of talks in Moscow in 2017 and 2018.
US will not join the talks
On Monday, the State Department said the United States will not join the talks due to logistical reasons, but it was open to participating in the future.
Moscow hosted a conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.
Since then, the United States and its allies have withdrawn their troops after 20 years on the ground, the Taliban seized power and the previous government collapsed.
The United States and other Western countries are grappling with difficult choices as a severe humanitarian crisis looms large over Afghanistan. They are trying to formulate how to engage with the Taliban without granting it the legitimacy it seeks while ensuring humanitarian aid flows into the country.
READ MORE: What’s Russia’s strategy in Afghanistan?