Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan appealed for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan and to the warring sides to avoid deaths in order to "create a favorable atmosphere for achieving a politico-diplomatic settlement".
The Taliban insurgents have largely stuck to a promise not to attack U.S. or other foreign troops since the agreement was struck in February previous year, under Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump. As part of its efforts, the US has also floated the idea, supported by Russian Federation, of a transitional government that includes the Taliban. And the President has been sharply critical of the details that Trump administration negotiated.
The current deal also called for US-supported Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to surrender power to an interim administration, half of which would be selected by the Taliban.
"The Americans should end their occupation in accordance with the Doha deal and fully withdraw their forces from Afghanistan by May 1", a Taliban spokesman told AFP. The peace agreement has not yet been authorized by the Afghan government.
The Taliban, who have not directly attacked the USA or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces since the February 2020 agreement, have warned that failure to stick to the withdrawal deadline would lead to a bloody response.
The deal under Trump determined a conditions-based withdrawal of USA troops.
Under this diplomatic push, two more global conferences are expected as early as next month, one hosted by the United Nations and the other by Turkey. That conference, which Ghani's government criticized as "little more than a political drama", paved the way for formal negotiations to start between Taliban and an Afghan government sanctioned delegation. Meanwhile, Biden said that it's unlikely a total withdrawal will happen by then, but was vague on how much longer it would take.
US airstrikes in recent days targeted "Taliban fighters actively attacking and maneuvering on (Afghan National Security Forces) positions" in Kandahar, US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The Moscow meeting will include United States special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and representatives from Pakistan and China, according to officials.
Announcing the appointment, the United Nations said Jean Arnault of France was tasked with helping find a political solution to the Afghan conflict.
Last year, former President Donald Trump negotiated a peace deal with the Taliban to end the 19-year US war in Afghanistan.
The so-called "butcher of Kabul", who was accused of killing thousands of people in the capital during the country's bloody civil war in the 1990s, was seen casually lunching with leading members of the Taliban negotiating team.
Some diplomats and experts said that for the renewed peace push to succeed, Washington must align itself with countries including Russia, China and Iran, with which it has strained relations.