Russia Offers to Host Talks Between Govt and Taliban

Ambassador Haley, who is also a member of President Trump's cabinet, said her takeaway from her visit is that "the entire peace process is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".

"They feel confident that the Taliban will be coming to the table", Haley told reporters at United Nations headquarters.

Under this programme, Pakistan Army officers have been trained in the USA at a cost of $52 million over the past 15 years and an allocation of another $4 million has been made for the current year.

The Taliban has exploited the instability to gain territory in Afghanistan after the end of NATO's combat mission in the country on January 1, 2015 and the withdrawal of foreign troops.

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Despite having fought the Taliban in the 1979-89 Afghanistan war in the Soviet era, Moscow now advocates engagement because the militant group it not considered to have ambitions beyond Afghanistan, in contrast to Daesh.

The relations were further hit after Pakistan said it will not share intelligence inputs with U.S. security agencies. Wells said the U.S. wanted that the continuing presence of the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups within Pakistan's territory must be adequately addressed.

This apart, United States also suspended additional aid of $ 2 billion to Pakistan.

Reuters reported that a second back-channel meeting occurred over the weekend in Turkey, where it said individuals with Taliban connections met with representatives of Hizb-i Islami, the party of a former Taliban-allied commander who past year laid down arms to join Afghan politics. But Reuters reported that the Taliban's supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, who it said is widely believed to be hiding in Pakistan, ordered the exploratory talks in both Turkey and Islamabad.

  • Myrtle Hill