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U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army Base in Logar province, Afghanistan on Aug. 7. Photo by Omar Sobhani/Reuters

U.S.: Russia talks on Afghanistan ‘unlikely to yield progress’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has rejected an invitation to join Russia-led talks on Afghanistan, saying they are unlikely to help bring peace.

Russia says that the Taliban will be joining the Sept. 4 talks in Moscow, along with representatives of several neighboring countries. It will be one of the insurgent group’s biggest diplomatic forays since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

A State Department spokesman said Wednesday that said that as a matter of principle, the U.S. supports Afghan-led efforts to advance a peace settlement.

Based on previous Russia-led meetings on Afghanistan, the Moscow talks are “unlikely to yield any progress toward that end.” The spokesman was not authorized to be quoted by name and requested anonymity.

The Taliban are refusing to negotiate with the Afghan government despite a cease-fire offer.

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