Moscow format consultations

Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan Kicks Off

Unlike last year, the Taliban’s de facto regime which rules Afghanistan has no representative at the meeting.

Special representatives from 11 countries kicked off a regional consultative meeting about Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 16, in Moscow. Unlike last year, the de facto regime in Afghanistan — currently ruled by the Taliban — has no representative at the consultative meeting.

Russia’s Sputnik News reports that representatives from 11 countries, including Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, were present at the meeting.

The meeting is officially titled Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan and is the continuation of a Moscow-led process on Afghanistan’s political affairs initiated in 2017.

Earlier this month, Special Russian Presidential Representative to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, had said that the Taliban would not attend the meeting. “It [consultative meeting] is only for members of the Moscow format.”

Later, the Taliban Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the meeting without the presence of the group’s representative as “incomplete.” In last year’s Moscow format conference, a Taliban delegation led by the group’s deputy Prime Minister, Mawlawi Abdul Salaam Hanafi, attended the meeting.