Moscow Format meeting set for late September in Kazan

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the multilateral “Moscow Format” meeting is scheduled to convene in Kazan on September 29.

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, during a briefing at the Eastern Economic Forum, said that the fifth session of the Moscow consultative format on Afghanistan will bring together “key regional actors to address various aspects of Afghanistan’s situation, intra-Afghan reconciliation, regional security, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.”

The parties are expected to approve a joint statement following the event.

Moscow has articulated the meeting’s goals, emphasizing the eradication of terrorism and drug trafficking while underscoring the importance of establishing an inclusive government that reflects the interests of all major ethnopolitical groups within Afghanistan.

The Taliban is anticipated to participate in this meeting after their absence from discussions in 2022.

The Moscow Format was established in 2017 as a regional platform for consultations involving special envoys from Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, and Pakistan. Its mission is to promote peace and stability and facilitate national reconciliation in war-torn Afghanistan. Subsequently, five Central Asian nations—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—joined this diplomatic outreach.

Russian media reports indicate that the primary focus this year will be on the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The 2022 joint statement from country representatives within the Moscow Format stressed the need to intensify efforts in providing economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan while also urging the Taliban government to safeguard the basic rights and freedoms of its people.