The Afghan government has criticised talks in Russia between the Taliban and opposition figures - including former president Hamid Karzai - as regrettable while politicians attending described the gathering as the continuation of peace efforts.
The discussions starting on Tuesday in Moscow come 10 days after peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar ended with signs of progress towards the withdrawal of thousands of foreign troops from Afghanistan and an end to more than 17 years of war.
Fazel Fazly, the chief adviser to President Ashraf Ghani, expressed "regret" that politicians who previously led Afghanistan's democratic transition were to meet Taliban leaders over two days.
Abdullah Abdullah, the government's chief executive, who addressed reporters in Kabul on Monday, said the Afghan government should be at the centre of any peace talks, adding it "would prefer the Moscow meeting had a different shape".
"[The Taliban] have the mindset that their position will be strengthened as they see that the talks are ongoing in different places," Abdullah said, referring to recent negotiations in Qatar and Moscow, as quoted by Afghan news website ToloNews.
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