India will participate in international talks on Afghanistan that are scheduled to take place in Russia’s Capital city Moscow on October 20, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

The Taliban, who are back in power in Afghanistan, will also join the talks, Russian news agency TASS reported.

“We have received an invitation for the Moscow Format meeting on Afghanistan on October 20,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a press briefing. “We will be participating in it. I do not have final confirmation who will be attending but it is likely that we will have it at the joint secretary-level.”

Russia has been organising the Moscow Format since 2017 to discuss matters related to Afghanistan, according to PTI. China, Pakistan and Iran will also participate in the discussion.

The discussions, scheduled for next week, will be the first since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15 as the United States and its allies prepared to pull out their troops from the country after 20 years. The insurgent group’s return to power triggered turmoil in Afghanistan, with thousands of people leaving the country to escape their feared rule.

India and several other countries undertook missions to evacuate their citizens from the conflict-torn country.

On August 31, India’s ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met a top Taliban leader, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzaiin, in Doha. This was the first official meeting between an Indian diplomat and the Taliban since the insurgent group took over Afghanistan.

During his talks with Stanekzai, Mittal had said that Afghanistan should not be allowed to be used for “anti-Indian activities and terrorism”. The two sides had also discussed the safety and early return of Indians stranded in Afghanistan.

In September, an interim Taliban government was formed in Afghanistan. The country’s new prime minister, Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, is on the sanctions list of the United Nations.

The international community has called for a peaceful resolution to the turmoil in Afghanistan. At a virtual summit on September 9, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa had emphasised on the need to hold dialogue to ensure peace and order in Afghanistan.

The leaders had also stressed on the need to uphold the rights of women, children and minorities in Afghanistan.