Russia responds over dead US and Afghan Taliban peace deal

Russia responds over dead US and Afghan Taliban peace deal
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MOSCOW - Russia hopes that peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban are "suspended", and not "dead", Russian special envoy for Afghanistan said on Tuesday.

"We regret that the [negotiation] process has been suspended. We still think that it is not dead but suspended. Emotions are running high, go off scale on both sides, nevertheless, it seems to us that after a certain period of time the parties will return and continue the process of negotiations and finalizing the deal," Zamir Kabulov told reporters in Moscow.

Kabulov's remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said that peace talks with the Taliban are "dead" after cancelling a planned meeting outside of the nation's capital, in retaliation for recent Taliban attack in Kabul, which killed a dozen people, including a U.S. service member.

He said Russia considers the U.S.-Taliban deal as an "important step" that would pave the way to the national reconciliation and further comprehensive settlement of the Afghan crisis, and expects it will finally happen.

The raging Afghan conflict is in its 18th year, with thousands of lives lost and millions forced to flee their homes. The UN repeatedly calls for urgent need to seize opportunities for peace in the region. -AA

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