Moscow Format meeting on Afghanistan : India to attend Moscow format talks, first formal meeting with Taliban News Title

This will be the first Moscow format dialogue after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban in August 2021. The meeting is likely to be the first time India will meet the Taliban face-to-face since it set up an interim government last month.

Why in News?

      • India has been invited to attend Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan on October 20, 2021, informed External Affairs Ministry on October 14, 2021. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the Taliban. 

        India will be participating in it at the joint secretary level. This will be the first Moscow format dialogue after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban in August 2021. The meeting is likely to be the first time India will meet the Taliban face-to-face since it set up an interim government last month. 

Background?

      • Russia had invited the Taliban for the Moscow Format meeting on the Afghanistan peace process in 2018 as well. India had participated in the meeting at a “non-official level” by sending senior diplomats Amar Sinha and T C A Raghavan to attend the talks.

Key Points

      • Significance

        This would be India’s second meeting with the Taliban after it seized control over Afghanistan. The first meeting was on August 31st when India’s Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal and the Taliban Political Office head Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai had met in Doha to discuss safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan.

      • Who will represent India at the Moscow format meeting?

        It is not yet confirmed who will attend the meeting on India’s behalf.MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly media briefing, “We have received an invitation to the Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan on October 20. We will be participating in it. I don’t have a final confirmation who’ll be attending but it’s likely that we will have it at the joint secretary-level.”

      • Taliban to join Moscow format talks 

        A Taliban delegation is expected to arrive in Moscow next week for the Moscow format talks on Afghanistan. India, Pakistan, China and Iran will also participate in the talks. 

What is Moscow format?

      • Moscow format is a Russian initiative to find a regional solution to the Afghanistan crisis. The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of a six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, India and Iran. 

        The main objective of the Moscow format talks is to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and secure peace in that country as soon as possible.

MCQ for Prelims

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