The Taliban said Monday they will participate in "intra-Afghan" talks in Moscow designed to bring together prominent Afghan figures, including former President Hamid Karzai, opposition figures and tribal elders - but no Kabul government officials.
The two-day meeting in the Russian capital, which starts Tuesday, is seen as another step in a process aimed at resolving Afghanistan's 17-year war.
From Bishkek, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is actively advocating for the resolution of 'intra-Afghan' talks.
The Russian government has denied orchestrating the meeting.
A statement from Kabul said the Council of Afghan Society, a Moscow-based organisation of the Afghan diaspora, was behind it.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said the meetings are an Afghan initiative aimed at laying the foundation for an eventual peace process.