Russia will invite the Taliban to international talks on Afghanistan scheduled for October 20 in Moscow, Kremlin envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said on Thursday.
In response to a question from Russian journalists on whether representatives of the hardline group would be invited to the negotiations involving China, India, Iran and Pakistan, Kabulov said: “Yes.”
The talks will follow a G20 summit on Afghanistan on October 12 that will seek to help the country avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
Kabulov was also asked whether Russia would deliver aid to Afghanistan, where the humanitarian crisis is worsening, a senior UN official warned on Wednesday.
Russia said it would deliver the promised aid, but the details are still being decided, Kabulov said.
“This is being resolved,” he told reporters, saying “cargo” was being collected.
Moscow has moved to engage with the Taliban, but failed to gain recognition for the group, which is banned as a terrorist organization in Russia.
On Monday, Kabulov said Moscow would not “rule out” a review of the UN sanctions regime against the Taliban.
“But at this stage we believe that it is not convenient to rush,” he said.
Russia has warned of members of extremist groups taking advantage of the political turmoil in Afghanistan to cross into neighboring countries as refugees.
Afghanistan shares a border with former Soviet Tajikistan, where Russia maintains a key military base.