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Indian delegation and Taliban officials will come face-to-face for the first time at the Moscow Format meeting in Russia on Wednesday. JP Singh, the joint secretary who heads the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk in the external affairs ministry, will lead the Indian delegation at the Moscow Format.

Russia said that the representatives of 10 countries and a high-level Taliban delegation will take part in the Moscow-format meeting on Wednesday.

Terrorism, humanitarian assistance to Afghans, and recognition of the Taliban-led regime are key issues India will likely to add to the agenda of the talks.

India has also expressed its willingness to extend humanitarian assistance to Afghans, who are staring at a food and economic crisis coupled with harsh winters ahead.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the matter of recognising the outfit as the legitimate government in Afghanistan is not on the current agenda.

"We encourage them to live up to the promises they made when they came to power, including ensuring that the government is inclusive not only along the ethnic lines, but also along the political lines, so that the full range of political beliefs of the society is reflected in the government's composition," Russia's foreign minister said.

The dialogue between the Taliban and 10 regional countries will be held a day after the US pulled out of a meeting of the “extended troika" hosted by Moscow on Tuesday. Only special representatives from Russia, China and Pakistan – the other members of the extended troika – participated in the meeting.

The US state department said on Monday the American special representative would not participate in the extended troika talks due to logistical reasons. The Extended Troika includes Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan.

The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

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