Russian media reports say head of Taliban’s delegation has been satisfied with the results of the third round of the Moscow format talks on Afghanistan.

The meeting reportedly gathered 10 countries and the Taliban to focus on the developing political and military situation in Afghanistan.  The meeting, in particular, proposed to convene the UN-led donor conference to help rebuild the country.

The third round of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan was positive, the chief of the Taliban’s delegation at the negotiations, deputy head of Afghanistan’s interim government Abdul Salam Hanafi told the media on October 20. 

"Today’s meeting was very positive. There was a dialogue among the region’s countries. All states confirmed that Afghanistan must be a safe and stable country," he cited as saying by TASS.  

Also, he remarked reportedly that "everybody agreed that the United States must lift the freeze from the assets of Afghanistan’s Central Bank as soon as possible" for the sake of improving the situation in public health, education and other spheres.

Meanwhile, some Western media reports say the ‘Moscow format’ talks on October 20 highlighted China-Russia coordination on Afghan issue and conspicuous US absence s 

Citing experts, Global Times says the "Moscow format" talks highlighted the prominent role of China-Russia coordination on the Afghan crisis when the US and some Western countries chose to evade responsibility.   

Recall, Russia launched the Moscow-format consultations in 2017 as part of its diplomatic efforts to press for political solution to the Afghan issue. The Moscow format was launched on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

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

The first round of the Moscow format consultations that took place on April 14, 2017 was attended by deputy foreign ministers and special representatives of 11 partner countries who are interested in achieving a settlement in Afghanistan. These countries include Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The representatives of the United States who were invited to take part in the meeting declined, saying that the new US administration lacked an Afghanistan strategy at the time.

The second round of the consultations was held in Moscow on September 4, 2018.  Unlike the previous round, it was co-chaired by both Russia and Afghanistan.  Invitations were sent to 12 countries, the US included. The leadership of the Taliban’s political office in Doha was also invited to take part in the meeting.

The aim of the second meeting was to help narrow the gaps in the approaches taken by the Afghan government and the Taliban to launching a direct intra-Afghan dialogue.

Participants at the meeting focused on launching direct inter-Afghan dialogue aiming at stabilization of the country and “agreed to continue consultations within the framework of this mechanism," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a final communiqué following the meeting.

Din Mohammad Azizullah, head of the Afghan government delegation, confirmed that he had "brief talks" with the Taliban members at a working lunch, characterizing the talks as "friendly."

But Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who led the Taliban group, reiterated that the Taliban does not see the current government in Kabul as legitimate.