Russia accuses US of hypocrisy towards Afghanistan
Moscow : The US refusal to participate in the upcoming consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow shows Washington's hypocrisy, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"The US decision once again highlights the falsity of Washington's peaceful rhetoric towards Afghanistan, whose people have suffered in the last 17 years and continue to carry huge losses as a result of the US policy," it said in a statement.
Washington declined a Russian invitation to participate in the meeting, stating that it would not take part in any events that were not organized under the leadership of the Afghans, the Ministry said.
The Moscow meeting will be co-chaired by Russia and Afghanistan, it said.
"Apparently, the Americans only like to participate in meetings that are held under their leadership and correspond exclusively to their interests," the statement said.
The second round of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan will take place in Russia on September 4.
The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations among representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.
The first round of the consultations took place on April 14, 2017 and were attended by deputy foreign ministers and representatives of 11 countries -- Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Washington declined an invitation then, saying that the new US administration lacked an Afghanistan strategy at that time.
This year, invitations were sent to the same countries.
The leadership of the Taliban group was also invited as "the aim of the upcoming meeting is to help narrow gaps in the approaches taken by the Afghan government and Taliban to launching a direct intra-Afghan dialogue", the Russian Ministry said.