Russia calls off planned peace conference after mounting Afghan pressure

Salaam Times

KABUL -- The Russian government postponed an international peace conference on Afghanistan in Moscow originally scheduled for September 4 after the Afghan government refused to participate.

President Ashraf Ghani spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by phone Monday (August 27) and said that any talks must be an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process, Ghani's office said in a statement.

The two sides "decided to postpone the Moscow conference so that the two countries can co-ordinate on further preparations and the effectiveness of the process", the statement said.

The Afghan government refused to participate after Moscow invited a Taliban delegation to the conference.

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