The United States’ refusal to take part in the conference on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Moscow on September 4 reflects the hypocrisy of Washington’s peace rhetoric with respect to Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Wednesday, TASS reports.
"We were sorry to learn from a statement by the US Department of State that the Americans refuse to take part in a Moscow format meeting on September 4. Aside from them, representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and five Central Asian countries have been invited to take part in it," the ministry said. "The American side’s decision once again highlights the hypocrisy of Washington’s peace rhetoric towards Afghanistan."
This decision came as no surprise to Moscow, as there were no US representatives at the previous Moscow format meeting. "This time they came up with a far-fetched pretext that the US has no intention of taking part in those events, which are not organized under the supervision of the Afghans. Its obvious inconsistency is that the Moscow meeting is scheduled to be co-chaired by Russia and Afghanistan, and Washington is perfectly aware of that," the ministry noted. "Apparently, the fact is that the Americans are in favor of taking part only in the meetings, which are held under their supervision and serve exclusively the US interests."
"The principal objective of the Moscow format is the participating countries’ collective assistance to launching the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan as soon as possible and ending the fratricidal war there," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed, adding that "refusal to take part in such efforts shows that Washington pursues completely different interests."
Taking part in the upcoming Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan will be representatives of Afghanistan, Russia and some regional countries. The previous round of consultations took place last April. Members of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) did not take part in its work in the past. However, they are expected to attend the meeting this time.