“Promising is not getting married”: Why the world does not recognize the new government in Afghanistan

Vladimir Kulagin

Taliban representatives said that they are negotiating with Moscow on the recognition of their government in Afghanistan, as well as on the work of diplomatic missions. Gazeta.Ru learned from experts why the Taliban has not yet been recognized even by their traditional allies.

No one in the world has officially recognized the Taliban as the authorities of Afghanistan, although two months have passed since the occupation of the presidential palace in Kabul by representatives of this organization. But the Islamists are not losing hope.

On October 11, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid noted that they are still trying to establish diplomatic relations with all states.

Separately, he highlighted negotiations with Russia, noting that our country is important for Afghanistan economically. “Afghanistan has been destroyed during the war, Russia and other countries could help rebuild it. We welcome such help and look forward to financial support ”,

  • said the Mujahid. Among the subject of negotiations with Moscow, he singled out the issue of “recognition of the government and the opening of embassies.”

The last point refers to the possible appearance of a representative office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with a subsequent personnel change.

As the head of the Center for the Study of Afghan Politics Andrei Serenko explains, now representatives of the pro-American Afghan government are working in all embassies around the world and in the UN.

“And these diplomats do not obey the Taliban. Formally, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has not yet been abolished. In a legal sense, an interesting collision has developed when there are two parallel governments, ”the expert said.

However, he did not rule out the option that before the Taliban is officially recognized as the legitimate Afghan government, a representative office of this organization may appear in Moscow.

In general, Serenko believes that the Taliban present the desired progress in relations with Russia as real. He noted that Afghan Islamists did not heed any of Moscow’s recommendations, whether it was on the creation of an inclusive government or a real, not imitation, struggle against representatives of the Islamic State or drugs.

“Contacts between the Taliban and Moscow are conducted through two channels – through the Russian embassy in Afghanistan and the special envoy of the president Zamir Kabulov , who also heads a department in the Foreign Ministry . Although, if my memory serves me right, he was in Kabul only once after the Taliban came to power. Our embassy, however, represents the interests of Russia rather formally.

I would not say that the chances of recognition of the Taliban have grown lately. Promising does not mean getting married, especially since the Russians have not yet promised anything at all. Yes, there is a game with the Taliban, but Moscow is not ready for their recognition yet, ”Serenko said.

“Americans have leverage against the Taliban.”

On October 10, it became known that following the results of the first direct negotiations since the Taliban came to power in Qatar, the United States decided to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a commentary that aid would be directed “directly to the Afghan people.” About the Taliban, the Americans made only routine statements that they “will be judged by their actions, not their words.”

Axios also reports that the US delegation in the aforementioned talks paid particular attention to “the possibility of safe passage for their citizens, other foreign citizens and partners, as well as human rights, including the active participation of women in all spheres of Afghan society.

“American humanitarian aid does not mean anything to the Taliban either. This is just a demonstration of the possibilities in this area that the United States is ready to help the Afghans.

The Americans have another lever for the Taliban, these are frozen assets of $10 billion, ”Serenko recalls.

The expert also emphasizes that one of the main urgent tasks of the Americans connected with Afghanistan is to safely remove all local residents who collaborated with them from this country. In this context, humanitarian assistance can be seen as a kind of payment for a service. Diplomatic recognition from the Americans does not bring it any closer, Serenko is sure.

At the same time, the expert believes that the majority of states in the world, including even Russia, are guided by Washington’s position.

Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan Omar Nessar in a commentary to Gazeta.Ru expressed the opinion that “the major powers have decided to coordinate their actions against the Taliban, most likely through the UN platform.”

“And while all major countries talk about inclusive government, everyone understands it differently. But the interesting point is that the general public nowhere knows what the negotiations with the Taliban are about, ”says Nessar.

At the same time, the expert says that the very possibility of diplomatic recognition is an effective instrument of pressure on the Taliban regime, and if someone does this, this lever will simply disappear.

The major powers have repeatedly spoken about the necessary conditions for the recognition of the Taliban. In particular, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted that the world is waiting for the Taliban to comply with its obligations. Among them – the creation of an inclusive (with the participation of representatives of different peoples) government, the fight against terrorism and the protection of human rights. In Great Britain, the emphasis was made on the fact that the Taliban must guarantee the safety of those wishing to leave the country, respect the rights of women and prevent Afghanistan from becoming an “incubator of global terrorism.”

China, on the other hand, appears to be more realistic, asking the Taliban to refuse to cooperate with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), where the majority are Uyghur militants fighting for independence from the PRC. And, at least in words, the Taliban have already agreed to this – Speaker Sohail Shahin noted that no one, including members of the ETIM, will be allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan to prepare attacks on neighboring states.

Interestingly, no Muslim country has so far recognized the Taliban. For example, the Taliban movement was created with the participation of the Pakistani Interdepartmental Intelligence Service. According to experts, it is this country that continues to exert the greatest influence on the Taliban and provide assistance to the radical movement that has taken power in Afghanistan.

But the reason for the refusal of the Pakistanis from diplomatic recognition, according to Serenko, lies in internal problems.

“Pakistan has a powerful economic crisis. And there will be no risk for the sake of a legal gesture in the form of recognition of the Taliban. After all, a potential international response to this could add serious problems to Pakistan, which will lead to serious instability, ”the expert concludes.

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