Pakistan has said that the participation of the United States is a must in a dialogue on Afghanistan initiated by Moscow, citing U.S. as the "biggest stakeholder" in the country.
Moscow is preparing to host a multi-nation gathering on Afghanistan on April 14, following a series of meetings that originally included only Pakistan and China.
U.S. has turned down invitation for the upcoming meet, questioning Russia’s objectives.
Russia has said that the upcoming meeting will consult on national reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Ahead of the talks, Tariq Fatemi, Pakistani prime minister’s special assistant on foreign affairs, in in an interview with local media suggested that meeting will not achieve its mission in the absence of U.S.
“They [U.S.] have their troops present [in Afghanistan], they have invested one trillion dollars there, they dollars there, they are biggest stakeholder, they have lost hundreds of soldiers, so they have their interests there,” he said.
The last round of such talks were held earlier this year, involving also Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and India. Some Central Asian nations have also been invited for the upcoming meeting.
“We hope and desire that when any such peace initiative will enter into next stage, America will have to be made part of it,” Fatemi told Aaj TV, when asked about the effectiveness of the gathering without Washington.
This comes as Russia has repeatedly been accused of supporting the Taliban, however, Moscow denies the allegations saying its “limited contacts” with the Taliban are aimed at peace.
Russian Foreign Ministry in a recent statement also has rejected claims that a Russian military delegation met with the Taliban in Pakistan.
The Pakistani official said that Islamabad believes that Russia is “positively” using its influence within the Taliban to encourage them to talks table, adding Islamabad supports any such efforts.