India sits with Afghan Taliban for the first time

India sits with Afghan Taliban for the first time

ISLAMABAD - India joined talks with the Taliban for the first in a multilateral meeting on Friday on Russia’s invitation for a peace call.

Moscow on Friday hosted international talks on Afghanistan aimed at kickstarting direct negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban militant group, both of whom sent delegations, AFP reported.

Moscow said it had invited representatives from the United States as well as India, Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

This is the first time that a Taliban delegation is taking part in such high-level international meeting, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP that the militant group was sending five representatives.

The Taliban is banned from operating Russia as it is classified as a "terrorist organisation".

India will be part of the talks at a non-official level and will be represented by Amar Sinha, who has served as India’s ambassador to Afghanistan and T.C.A Raghvan, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.

Pakistan would "definitely" attend, foreign ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal told AFP.

India’s unprecedented move came after Russia’s Vladimir Putin visited New Delhi last month for an annual bilateral summit with prime minister Narendra Modi. - APP/AFP