Russia has no plans to be a mediator between Taliban, other forces — Lavrov

YEKATERINBURG (TASS): Russia has no intention to propose itself as a mediator at negotiations between the Taliban and other political forces in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media on Thursday.

“We have long urged the Taliban and other ethnic political groups in Afghanistan to negotiate the creation of an inclusive transitional government,” he said. “Currently we have no plans for being a mediator at such talks. To my mind, nobody has such plans, either.”

He pointed out that everybody was interested to see the Taliban and other ethnic and political actors in Afghanistan achieve unanimity regarding the messages they send to the Wes-tern countries, China and the Central Asian states.

Lavrov remarked that as far as resistance in Panjshir was concerned, a special role belonged to Russia’s allies in Tajikistan.

“In the Panjshir Valley, the Afghan Tajiks are holding talks with the Taliban’s central government. I hope that these talks will eventually produce a negotiated solution, and not be disrupted, and that the threats of a resumption of hostilities will not materialize,” he stressed.

Also, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman M-aria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday that Moscow will consider recognizing Afghanistan’s ne-w authorities once an inclusive government is formed in the country.

“We call for the establishment of an inclusive coalition government in Afghanistan that would involve all of the country’s ethnic and political forces, including ethnic minorities, so the question of recognizing the country’s authorities will rise after the process is over,” she pointed out.

According to Maria, Russia consistently emphasizes the need for Afgha-nistan to turn into a peaceful, independent and economically stable country.

At the same time, in her words, “Western countries’ spontaneous operation to leave Afghanistan may have a negative impact on the nation’s welfare in a new historical era.” “It is Western countries that made a decision on the form of their presence [in Afghanistan] but they failed to do it based on a mandate issued by the UN Security Council, as well as to present reports to the UN Security Council and the international community. So it is these countries that bear the primary responsibility for this step and everything that Afghanistan and the Taliban movement have inherited,” the Russian diplomat added.

Maria pointed out that the Taliban has shown a willingness to develop ties with the international community. “We note the statement made by the Taliban’s senior official Shahabuddin Delawar, in which he called on the foreign countries that hastily aborted their diplomatic missions to resume their work. This message demonstrates the Taliban leadership’s readiness to develop ties with the international community,” the spokeswoman said.

Extremists and terrorists may try, disguised as refugees, to penetrate from Afghanistan into neighboring countries, in particular the states of Central Asia, Maria said. “We see serious risks that terrorists and extremists can enter the countries of the region under the guise of refugees, especially the Central Asian states,” she said.

According to Maria, Western countries should provide effective assistance to Afghanistan in order to reduce or completely stop migration flows. “We believe that the international community and, first of all, the traditional Western donors of Afghanistan should provide effective assistance to the population of this country in order to reduce or completely stop migration flows,” she said.

“Debt by payment is red. The Western countries, which for 20 years experimented uncontrollably, although they had to obey and implement the Security Council mandate, <…> owe Afghanistan in every sense of the word, and pretend that they left, somehow in a hurry having gathered, and that’s it, the story is over, it won’t work, ” Maria added.

Maria also mentioned th-at the Russian Embassy in Kabul continued to work as usual. “The situation with t-he security of employees a-nd facilities is under control at this stage,” Maria said.

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