Afghan Taliban take a surprise but strategic move
ISLAMABAD - Afghan Taliban in a strategic move have reached Moscow with an approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin against Washington dead talks threat.
Taliban negotiators from the militant group's Qatar office is in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that peace talks with U.S. officials have collapsed.
TASS quotes Mohammad Sohail Shaheen, the spokesman for the Taliban's Qatar office, as saying that the Taliban delegation had met with Russia's special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, on September 13.
RFE/RL has independently confirmed that the Taliban delegation was in Moscow on September 13.
Shaheen was quoted by TASS as saying that the Taliban's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy had focused on "the recent developments regarding the peace process in Afghanistan."
Moscow has hosted two previous rounds of talks in 2019 between Taliban negotiators and prominent Afghan personalities.
The September 13 meeting in Moscow marks the first international visit by members of the Taliban's Qatar office since Trump on September 9 declared that peace talks with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad were "dead."
Earlier, Trump cancelled a secret meeting with Taliban negotiators that had been scheduled at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.