situation report

Afghanistan, Russia: Taliban Delegation Meets Russian Envoy in Moscow

1 MIN READSep 16, 2019 | 14:20 GMT

What Happened: A Taliban delegation traveled to Moscow on Sept. 13 to meet Russia's Afghanistan envoy to discuss the abrupt end of U.S.-Taliban peace talks, Reuters reported Sept. 14.

Why It Matters: The Taliban's decision to send a delegation to Russia — and possibly other countries in the future — indicates the group's aspiration to position itself as a legitimate diplomatic actor that takes the considerations of other regional powers into account. However, talks with Russian officials are unlikely to go beyond symbolism as the group will be required to hold direct negotiations with the United States to attain its goal of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Background: U.S. President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Sept. 7 that he was suspending the monthslong U.S.-Taliban dialogue in spite of a draft peace deal that both sides reportedly reached five days earlier.

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