According to Serbian National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic, when the Talibans were coming to Belgrade for negotiations with the Afghan government at the time a few years ago, they were coming directly from combat. The talks were hidden from the public, but not the international community, he added.
Dacic said for the Aug. 19 issue of the Blic daily that one of those meetings took place during the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Belgrade, and that traces of explosives were found at the spot where one of the Taliban representatives had been seated.
"They've found traces of gunpowder or explosives. Right where one of the negotiators, the rebels, the Talibans, had been sitting. This means that they were coming to the negotiations right from the front lines," he added.
Dacic, who was the Serbian minister of foreign affairs at the time, said that the Afghan High Peace Council's representatives had suggested that the negotiations between the then Afghan authorities and the Talibans be held in Belgrade.
"The only thing they asked for was guaranteed discretion, i.e. that nothing on the negotiations is published and that there are no media leaks. We obliged. They came three times, three times we hosted the negotiation talks between the Talibans and the authorities in Kabul, and there were no leaks," Dacic said.