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Russia invites Qatar to meeting on Afghan peace

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says Qatar to be 'honorary guest' at Moscow meeting on Afghanistan

Elena Teslova   | 12.03.2021
Russia invites Qatar to meeting on Afghan peace

MOSCOW 

Russia has invited Qatar as an honorary guest to a meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

A multi-nation meeting on the Afghan peace process will take place on March 18 at the level of the special envoys, Maria Zakharova said at a news conference in Moscow.

Russia, the US, China and Pakistan will attend the meeting.

"A delegation from the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation, prominent Afghan political figures, the Taliban, and, as an honorary guest, Qatar, are also expected to attend," she said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will address the gathering, she said.

"During the meeting, it is expected to discuss ways to advance the inter-Afghan talks in Doha, reduce the level of violence and end the armed conflict in Afghanistan, and establish this country as an independent, peaceful and self-sufficient state, free from terrorism and drug crime," Zakharova said.

Syrian conflict

Turning to the conflict in Syria, Zakharova slammed "selective" humanitarian aid, provided by Western countries to specific groups, saying such an approach stimulates separatism in "artificially isolated areas."

She called on all stakeholders to "abandon politicized approaches" and take "effective participation in providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian people."

As for the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, Zakharova said Russia will encourage Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi during his visit to Moscow on March 17 to resume direct talks with Palestine.

Prince Harry, Meghan controversy

On the much talked about interview by Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, she said it reconfirmed "double standards" of the British media.

"What was said was a clear confirmation that there was no impartiality in Albion, in particular in the British media, for a long time, and maybe never. Instead, the so-called unshakeable traditions of British media professionalism, stemming from their tight grip on the island's political establishment, are nothing more than a mixture of hypocrisy and double standards framed by bespoke snobbery and imperial phantom pains," she said.

Earlier this week, the couple made a number of statements in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, accusing the British Royal Family of racism and the country's media of double standards.

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