Moscow calls on Taliban not to use the territory of Afghanistan against C. Asia

MOSCOW (TASS): Moscow calls on the Taliban movement not to use the territory of Afghanistan against third countries, primarily against its neighbors in Central Asia. This was stated on Wednesday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, opening the meeting on Afghanistan in the Moscow format.

“We call on the Taliban movement to strictly follow the line of preventing anyone from using the territory of Afghanistan against the interests of third countries, primarily against the immediate neighbors of Afghanistan – the countries of Central Asia. Our friends and allies. In turn, we plan to use our opportunities in including through the UN, SCO, CSTO and other multilateral structures,” he said.

At the same time, the Russian authorities note the efforts of the new administration of Afghanistan to stabilize the military-political situation in the country. “We note the efforts being undertaken by them [the interim Taliban government] to stabilize the military-political situation, to improve the activities of the state apparatus,” said the head of the Russian diplomatic service.

“However, the task of achieving sustainable peace in Afghanistan is still urgent,” Lavrov stressed. “We see the key to its successful solution, first of all, in the formation of a truly inclusive government, which should fully reflect the interests of all not only ethnic, but also the political forces of the country.” The foresight shown in this way, he pointed out, would serve as a lesson to those who sacrificed national interests for the sake of satisfying personal ambitions, and would also predetermine the progressive development of the country relying on broad strata of the population.

“The support of the masses is also connected with a competent social policy, the observance of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. We spoke in detail about this with the delegation of the Taliban movement just before the opening of our meeting,” the minister said.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that the new balance of forces established in Afghanistan “has no alternatives for the foreseeable future.” “After a radical change in the situation on the ground, it is already pointless to look for those to blame for the failure to achieve a tangible result in the matter of national reconciliation. I will only note that the expectations placed on the republican camp, on the past government of Afghanistan, headed by former President Ashraf Ghani, “These expectations did not come true. Now a new administration is in power.

This fait accompli places great responsibility on the Taliban movement,” the Foreign Minister stressed. Moscow appreciates the practical interaction with the new Afghan authorities, thanks to which it is possible to effectively resolve the security issues of Russian citizens in Afghanistan and ensure the smooth functioning of the Russian embassy in Kabul, Lavrov said.

“We are satisfied with the level of practical interaction with the Afghan authorities, which allows at the current stage to effectively solve the primary tasks of ensuring the security of Russian citizens living in Afghanistan, the smooth functioning of our embassy in Kabul, as well as the embassies of other states,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

“It was at the site of the Moscow format in Nove-mber 2018 that the delegations of the Taliban movement and the republican camp met for the first time at the same negotiating table in the presence of representatives of 10 countries. national reconciliation [in Afghanistan],” he added.

Lavrov stressed that the established new balance of power in Afghanistan has no alternatives for the foreseeable future. At the same time, he noted, the lack of official recognition in the international arena, problems in the socio-economic and financial spheres, humanitarian challenges faced by the new authorities in Kabul indicate that the current state of affairs in the country cannot yet be called stable.

“Numerous terrorist groups seek to take advantage of this, first of all, the Islamic State (banned in the Russian Federation) and Al-Qaeda (banned in the Russian Federation), which are again trying to raise their heads, making daring, bloody sorties in various parts of the country. Unfortunately, the problem of drug production in Afghanistan does not lose its acuteness.

Today there is a real threat of an overflow of terrorist and drug activity masquerading as migration flows on the territory of neighboring countries. In this context, for obvious reasons, we are concerned about the Central Asian direction. Counteraction to the above threats of Afghanistan and the surrounding region, as well as the threats that are projected onto other regions of the world, requires an adequate timely response both within the country and from external partners,”- pointed out Lavrov.

Russia is calling on the Taliban to form an inclusive government with the participation of all political forces, said Lavrov. “The task of achieving sustainable peace in Afgha-nistan is still urgent,” he s-aid at the opening of the th-ird Moscow format meeting on the situation in the country. “We express our regret at the non-participation of our American colleagues this time in the event.

We noticed that the United States has been avoiding a meeting within the extended troika of Russia, USA, China, Pakistan for the second time in a row,” Lavrov He hopes that the United States is ready to continue working in this direction, as well as that the new US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, will support the results of the meetings in Moscow.

The diplomat said that the UN should play a central role in the settlement, while Russia plans to use its capabilities along the lines of the CSTO and SCO. Lavrov noted that the expectations placed on the past government of Afghanistan, headed by former President Ashraf Ghani, in the matter of national reconciliation did not come true. Now this responsibility falls on the Taliban, since the change of power in the country is already a fait accompli.

“We note his efforts to stabilize the military-political situation, to improve the activities of the state apparatus,” the minister said. He said that before the meeting he had a meeting with a Taliban delegation, where they discussed in detail the need for a competent social policy and respect for human rights and freedoms.

The Foreign Minister also called on the world community to mobilize resources to help Afghanistan, including to prevent a crisis and stop migration flows, and added that in the near future Moscow will send a party of humanitarian aid to the country.

“Reports of the deteriorating living conditions of ordinary Afghans are very alarming. Experts do not exclude an aggravation of the humanitarian situation due to the inability of a significant part of the Afghan population to provide themselves with a balanced diet,” the minister stressed.
A delegation of the Taliban movement discussed regional stability with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, as well as issues related to the future of Afghanistan. This was stated on Wednesday by the press secretary of the Afghan Foreign Ministry in the interim cabinet, Abdul Kahar Balkhi, appointed by the radicals.

“Today, the delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the name of the state used by the Taliban – note TASS), headed by Mavlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his accompanying delegation. The sides held extensive talks on positive relations [between Kabul and Moscow ], regional stability and a better future for Afghanistan,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman wrote on his Twitter page.

The list of participants from the CIS countries: Special Representative of the President of Kazakhstan for Afghanistan Talgat Ka-liev, Deputy Foreign Mini-ster of Turkmenistan Vepa Khadzhiev, Special Envoy of the President of Uzbe-kistan for Afghanistan Ism-atulla Irgashev, Director of the 4th Political Departm-ent of the Ministry of For-eign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Avazbek Abdurazakov.

China sent to the meeting the special envoy for Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyun, India – the director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran Jitender Pal Singh, Iran – the special envoy of the president for Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Kumi. Also participating in the negotiations is Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghani-stan, Mohammad Sadik.
A joint statement was issues after meeting.

“Expressing deep concern over the deteriorating socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the parties expressed confidence in the need to mobilize consolidated efforts of the international community aimed at providing the Afghan people with urgent humanitarian and economic assistance in the post-conflict reconstruction of the country,” the statement said.

The parties proposed to launch a collective initiative for the early convocation of a representative international donor conference under the auspices of the United Nations.

“With the understanding, of course, that the main burden of the post-conflict economic and financial reconstruction and development of Afghanistan should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in this country for the past 20 years,” the document says.
The meeting participants also noted the need to build interaction with the authorities of this country “regardless of the official recognition by the international community of the new Afghan government” – the Taliban movement.

In addition, the parties expressed respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to the es-tablishment of Afghanista-n as a peaceful, indivisible, independent, economically developing state, free from terrorism and drug-related crime, and respecting basic human rights norms.

“Expressing concern about the manifestation of the activity of banned terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, the parties confirmed their readiness to continue rendering assistance to ensure security in Afghanistan in order to promote regional stability,” the text says.

At the same time, the participating countries called on the current leadership of Afghanistan to take additional measures to improve the system of public administration and to form a truly inclusive government that adequately reflects the interests of all the main ethnopolitical forces of the country.

“This will become a fundamental condition for the completion of the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“The participating countries took note with satisfaction of the confirmation by the interim government of Afghanistan of the earlier assumed obligations to prevent the use of the territory of Afghanistan against the security interests of neighboring countries, other states of the region and the whole world,” the document emphasizes.

Participants in the Moscow format also called on the new leadership of Afghanistan to pursue “a moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policy, to pursue a friendly policy towards Afghanistan’s neighbors, to achieve common goals such as lasting peace, security, reliability, long-term prosperity, and respect the rights of ethnic groups, women and children.”

United Nations aware of call to convene a donor conference on Afghanistan: The United Nations has always sought to support the Afghan population, but it has yet to make any statements regarding the call by the participants in the Moscow meeting on Afghanistan to convene a donor conference. This was stated on Wednesday at a briefing by the Deputy Official Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Farhan Haq.

“The United Nations is always looking to do what it can to increase funding to support the people of Afghanistan. I don’t have any statements regarding the donor conference, but we are aware of the call for [the conference],” Represe-ntative of the UN Secretary General, Haq said.

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