Eastern Europe News

Russia Hosts Taliban In Moscow…1980s Payback?

Image by Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
The November 1999 public execution of Zarmeena, an Afghan woman convicted of murdering her husband in cold blood with an axe while he was asleep. The execution was carried out by the Taliban inside the Ghazi stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan. It has been filmed with a hidden camera by members of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan and was aired by almost all major TV channels around the world. The photo is taken from the video film so higher resolution does not exist. This frame was taken at the exact moment the lethal shot was fired, as can be seen by the grey-brown plume to the right of the woman from the bullet striking the ground.

Russia hosted the Taliban in Moscow today in what they say is an attempt to find peace in Afghanistan. Also attending were Afghan government officials and representatives from a dozen other countries in the region.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who pressed Russia to cancel a similar meeting in September, sent four senior members of his nation’s High Peace Council. The two groups were seated around an oval table either side of the Russian chairman.

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Russia seeks to promote “inclusive, inter-Afghan dialogue” to try to resolve Afghanistan’s 17-year civil war, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the opening of the conference. The presence of both sides “will be an important contribution to providing favorable conditions for the start of direct talks between the government and the Taliban movement,” he said, reported Bloomberg.

It’s “very important to come here,” Azizullah Din Mohammad, the head of the High Peace Council’s delegation, told reporters. “When there is peace there will be no need for Americans in Afghanistan.”

Russia hopes “through joint efforts to open a new page in the history of Afghanistan,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said as the talks opened at a Moscow hotel on November 9, reported RFERL.

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The U.S. embassy in Moscow sent a representative to the talks.

The stated goal of the talks is not direct negotiations but to find a way to initiate such conversations between the belligerents.

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