Abdullah to lead Gov’t delegation to Moscow

A 16-member delegation led by Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the HCNR, will attend the Moscow peace summit that is scheduled for March 18.

Sources said the Afghan delegation would leave Kabul for Moscow, the capital of Russia, on Wednesday.

Russia has invited the Afghan government, the Taliban, and several foreign countries involved in the Afghan peace process to attend the meeting.

Former President Hamid Karzai, Former Vice President Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, Parliament Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani, Former Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili, Hizb-e-Islami Leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Government Chief Negotiator Masoom Stanekzai, State Minister for Peace Affairs Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Negotiating team member Habiba Sarabi, Deputy HCNR Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, peace team members Matin Bek, and Ahmad Nader Naderi, Deputy Speaker of Afghan Senate Mohammad Alam Ezadyar, Deputy Peace Minister Abdullah Khenjan, and Hizb-e-Islami members Abdul Sattar Khawasi and Ghairat Bahir will attend the meeting.

“The Islamic Republic Delegation led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will attend the Moscow summit over the Afghan peace process, and they will represent from a unified position of the Afghan government,” said Mujib Rahman Rahimi, an Advisor for the HCNR.

Meanwhile, several experts familiar with the process are optimistic about the summit.

Ali Ahmad Osmani, an ex-cabinet member stated: “Important and main agendas will be discussed in the meeting as key decision-makers on the Afghan peace process will participate in the meeting.”

Abdul Latif Pedram Party, Head of the National Congress Party of Afghanistan said: “Undoubtedly two issues about the transitional government and who to lead the transitional government will be discussed, but the issue will be discussed behind the closed doors.”

Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman said that a 10-member delegation, led by Mullah Baradar, will attend the Moscow meeting.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will also attend the summit from the US side.