Following the debacle of the quartet Afghan peace process aimed at facilitating direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, Russia spurred into action to try to take the initiative in Afghan reconciliation process. As a primary step, Russia held a meeting with China and Pakistan, and then involved Afghanistan, India, Iran and the United States in the process. Afghanistan has attended in one session and is expected to take part in the second meeting due to be held in Moscow next month. Although Russia had also invited the US to participate in the conference, Washington has turned down Moscow’s request.
The American refusal to attend the Moscow conference dashes hopes of peace. As a key actor, Washington who has thousands of troops in Afghanistan should be part of any deal or decision on Afghanistan because its absence denotes discontent, which can make any peace overtures end up in failure. The involvement of the United States is indispensable to make the Moscow Afghan peace process a success, which should not be ignored by parties involved in the negotiations.
The political settlement of Afghan conflict may be very intricate but not impossible. The first step to achieve this goal is to forge a consensus between regional and global power, in which Afghan government has unfortunately failed so far. If the US stays away from the Moscow conference for whatever reasons, its chances to yield fruit will be very low.