WASHINGTON, August 21 (Sputnik) – The United States will not take part in a scheduled meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow on September 4 and believes the initiative will not yield any progress toward a peace settlement in the country, a US Department of State official told Sputnik on Tuesday.
“The United States does not intend to participate in the September 4 Moscow format initiative. As a matter of principle, we support Afghan-owned and -led initiatives to advance a peace settlement in Afghanistan,” the State Department official said.
“Based on the previous meetings in the ‘Moscow Format,’ we believe this initiative is unlikely to yield any progress toward that end.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Officials from 12 countries, including the United States, have been invited to attend the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan on September 4.
The planned meeting will be the second in this format and will be held under the joint chairmanship of Russia and Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s government forces have long been fighting the Taliban insurgency as well as the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia), with the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducting joint counterterrorist operations across the country.