US rejects Russian invite to Afghan peace conference

Washington, March 24: The US will not attend a peace conference on Afghanistan organised by Russia on April 14 in Moscow, according to US State Department sources.

The sources did not explain to EFE on Thursday the reasons why the US will not attend the conference. The conference will be attended by countries like India, Pakistan and Iran in addition to Afghanistan.

According to Sputnik news agency, the Taliban will not participate in the conference.

In February, Russia had convened a six-party meeting on peace in Afghanistan, in which India, China, Iran and Pakistan participated, in addition to delegations from Kabul and Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the time criticised the former Barack Obama administration for its position on the Afghan conflict and was convinced that he could forge closer cooperation with the Donald Trump administration.

Lavrov also stressed the importance of involving the Taliban in the dialogue for constructing peace in Afghanistan, in keeping with the criteria set out in UN Security Council resolutions, Efe news reported.

The Russian Foreign Minister and the National Security Advisor to the Afghan Presidency Mohamad Hanif Atmar met in March to prepare for the April 14 conference.