Representatives of China, Russia and the United States have reached a consensus and mutually called for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from war-torn Afghanistan as part of the inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
In a joint statement released by the US Department of State on Friday regarding the recently held trilateral meeting in Moscow (April 25) on Afghanistan peace process said, "The three sides encourage the Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks with a broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government as soon as possible."
Chinese Special Envoy Deng Xijun, Russian Presidential Representative Zamir Kabulov, and U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad attended the Moscow meeting.
"Our agreement with China and Russia yesterday along with the previous one with Europeans means we have emerging international consensus on US approach to end the war AND assurances terrorism never again emanates from Afghanistan," Khalilzad took to Twitter as saying.
Khalilzad called the consensus a "milestone" in efforts to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan.
The statement also said that the Taliban have made a "commitment" to fight the extremist Islamic State group and sever ties to Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.
The Taliban have promised to "ensure the areas they control will not be used to threaten any other country," the statement read, calling on them to prevent any "terrorist recruiting, training and fund-raising."
Even though Washington and the Taliban have almost reached a peace deal that has so far excluded the Afghan government, no progress has been achieved on the formula for how power would be shared between the entities following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The United States, Russia and China further called on the Taliban to speak as soon as possible with a "broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the government."
"The three sides agreed on a phased expansion of their consultations before the next trilateral meeting in Beijing. The date and composition of the meeting will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels," the statement added.
Last week, a United States-led peace conference that was slated to be held in the Qatari capital from April 20 was postponed after the Taliban objected to a new delegation of Afghan government officials selected to attend the talks. The announcement came as a major blow to the ongoing efforts to stabilise peace in the war-ravaged country.
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