The 2nd Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan will take place in the Russian capital on November 9, according to the Russian MFA’s website. 

China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United States and Uzbekistan have reportedly received invitation to participate in the upcoming meeting.  

The Russian MFA’s website says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decided to send a delegation of the Afghanistan High Peace Council  

The Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) is a body of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program, established by Hamid Karzai to negotiate with elements of the Taliban. The current chairman of the council is former Afghan Vice-President Karim Khalili who was appointed to the post in June 2017.

Meanwhile, NATO’s website says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid an official visit to Kabul yesterday, accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti.

In a press conference following a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the Secretary General reportedly congratulated the government and people of Afghanistan on the recent parliamentary elections.  “For the first time, the Afghan forces assumed responsibility for security during the election,” he said, calling it “an important achievement.”  He added: “I look forward to a smooth completion of the election process, and to the presidential election in the spring of next year.”

Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that NATO’s support for Afghanistan will continue, saying: “NATO is determined to see Afghanistan succeed. That’s why around 16,000 troops from 39 countries serve in our Resolute Support Mission.” He welcomed that the mission’s work has led to particular improvements in the Afghan Special Forces and Air Force.

The Secretary General and the Afghan leadership shared views on the security situation.  Mr. Stoltenberg called on the Taliban and other insurgent groups to “stop killing their follow Afghans.”  He added: “the Taliban must understand that continuing the fight is pointless and counterproductive. To be part of Afghanistan’s future, they must sit down at the negotiating table.”

The Secretary General further stressed the need for an inclusive Afghan-owned and led peace process, saying: “the potential for peace is greater now than it has been in many years”. He added that “we count on the government to meet its commitments for good governance, the rule of law, fighting corruption and protecting the rights of all - especially women.”