On the 4th of September, Russia will host a multi-party Afghan peace conference which will be attended by members of the Taliban in spite of the fact that their organisation remains illegal in Russia. Russia’s motive for calling the peace conference and for inviting the Taliban is indicative of the fact that no realistic peace process can arise in Afghanistan unless every single party to the internal conflicts in the war torn state can come to the table and reach some form of consensus. This is likewise the view shared by Pakistan, China, increasingly by Iran and has even been invoked by some US officials at various times.

While representatives of the current government in Kabul were to attend the meeting, it was later announced that they would not. Today however, Afghan officials were quoted by Reuters as stating that either Russian or Tajik warplanes bombed Taliban locations on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Russian officials as well as Tajik officials have vehemently denied the accusation.

Given the fact that the independently issued statements of both Russia and Tajikistan carry more credibility than the allegations of Afghan government officials in such a context, the question is: why would Kabul officials spread such provocative rumours just over a week before the peace conference in Moscow?

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This post originally appeared on SOTT.net

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