Russia: SCO is not discussing recognition of Taliban

MOSCOW (TASS): The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s recognition of the Taliban government in Kabul is not on the agenda, but there is the task of establishing contacts with this force, which has risen to power in Afghanistan, Russia’s special presidential envoy for SCO affairs, the Foreign Ministry’s special ambassador Bekhtiyer Khakimov told an online conference on Thursday.

“The Taliban was outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization. But the objective reality today as it is, the Taliban movement holds power. A new transitional government has been formed. At this moment, the issue on the agenda is not recognition but the establishment of contacts with those who have risen to power in order to involve them in a constructive dialogue,” he said.

Khakimov said that the SCO was prepared to furnish assistance to Afghan-istan’s economic reconstru-ction and its further development and participation in regional cooperation.

“Promotion of a pan-Afghan political dialogue and settlement remains the key task. Otherwise, the situation in Afghanistan will remain what it has been for many years — chaos, unrest, lawlessness, and so on,” Khakimov explained.

“But there is the understanding that the bulk of responsibility for Afghanis-tan’s socio-economic reco-nstruction must be borne by those counties which had been present there for 20 years and heavily involved not so much in construction and revival as in the country’s economic destruction, which is well seen in the humanitarian disaster that we are witnesses to today.”

Russia regards Iran’s ac-cession to the Shanghai Co-operation Organization as a very useful decision, and its SCO partners share this opinion, Khakimov added.

“In the light of the statements and pledges made by Iran’s previous leadership and the speech by Iran’s n-ew president, Raisi, to the effect Iran was prepared to open and share with the S-CO all of its potential capabilities there are very serious reasons to believe that it will be very useful. The SCO member-countries m-ade the corresponding decision on the basis of thorough analysis of the entire combination of factors. In this sense we see eye to eye with our partners,” he said. Khakimov stressed that Russia proceeded from “the prospects for Iran’s involv-ement in struggle against terrorism, drug trafficking, and the work for stability and security in the region and on a wider scale.”

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