Russian Envoy Visits Pakistan as Part of Effort to Jumpstart Stalled Afghan Peace Process

  • Date of Publication : 20/02/2021 at 14:35 GMT
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Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan visited Islamabad Friday to encourage Pakistan’s support for a meeting in Moscow to help facilitate the stalled Afghan peace process.

Zamir Kabulov told earlier this week that he hopes the trip will encourage Pakistan’s support for the meeting to be held by the end of this month.

“My leadership has set the task of finding ways that will facilitate the start of inter-Afghan negotiations through consultations within the framework of the enlarged troika. We agreed on such a meeting with the American special envoy [Zalmay] Khalilzad. It can happen in Moscow,” he told the Russian government funded news outlet.

The “enlarged troika” is a reference to what Kabulov said is a group that evolved over the last two years, including countries with the most influence on the Afghan peace processes—the United States, China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia.

Russia hopes the meeting of the expanded troika could eventually lead to a larger gathering involving the Afghan government and Taliban along with other regional stakeholders like the Central Asian states and India. Diplomats who back the process say getting all of the regional powers involved in a peace agreement will give it a greater chance of success.

The Moscow format was a Russian initiative to organize regional stakeholders involved in the Afghan peace process. Its second meeting in 2018 brought the Taliban to an international forum for the first time. The U.S. sent representatives to observe.

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