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Taliban Seeking Support from Russia after Trump Ends Talks

MOSCOW: Taliban are seeking support from Russia just days after US President Donald Trump ended months-long peace talks between Washington and the group.

According to international news agency, Taliban representatives have held discussions with Russian officials in Moscow.

Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen confirmed the meeting in the Russian capital on Friday, saying the group’s delegation held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan.

At the meeting, Russia stressed the necessity of the resumption of talks between the US and the Taliban, while the group’s delegation reiterated their readiness to renewing dialogue with Washington, the international news agency said.

Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban began last October in Qatar, with the aim of ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

After nine rounds of negotiations in Doha, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said earlier this month a peace agreement was finalised “in principle”.

But on Sunday, Trump said he had cancelled secret meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban leaders, following a car bomb attack in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.