Russia to invite Taliban for Moscow talks, seeks cordial ties with Afghanistan

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The Moscow format was determined in the year 2017 on the basis of the six-party system. Its purpose was to consult through special envoys between Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

Moscow: Russia is about to increase its closeness with the Taliban, a radical Islamist group that has seized power in Afghanistan. Russia said on Thursday it would invite representatives of the Taliban to a draft meeting on Afghanistan to be held in Moscow on October 20.

The Russian news agency TASS has published a report quoting Zamir Kabulov, Special Envoy of the President of Russia for Afghanistan and Director of the Second Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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According to the TASS report, “Russia will invite representatives of the Taliban to the proposed draft meeting on Afghanistan.”

However, Kabulov did not specify the level of Taliban representatives. The Moscow format was determined in the year 2017 on the basis of the six-party system. Its purpose was to consult through special envoys between Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government at the earliest. He also said that Russia is working with the United States of America (USA), China and Pakistan to stop terrorism and form an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Russia’s foreign minister has said that the Taliban should respect the rights of women and girls. The Taliban have delivered on what they have publicly said.

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Russia’s tough stance follows the Taliban’s statement that it has no right to ask the Islamic emirate of Pakistan and the rest of the world to form an “inclusive” government in Afghanistan. After the formation of the interim government in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had also said that an inclusive government should be formed in Afghanistan. The US is also repeatedly urging the Taliban to do the same.

Russia has said that no decision has yet been taken on whether to recognize the Taliban as the government in Afghanistan. Russia says it will closely monitor developments there before making any decisions. Russia wants to see peace and stability in Afghanistan.

However, after the Taliban came to power, many countries closed their embassies in Kabul. But Russia, China, Pakistan haven’t closed their embassies

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Russia worried about Taliban

Since the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan, Russia fears Islamic militant groups may infiltrate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, which Moscow sees as its defensive buffer. After the Taliban came to power, Moscow conducted military exercises in Tajikistan.

Putin also spoke to Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon on the phone. The two leaders discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and the security arrangements.

First published:October 7, 2021, 9:47 pm

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