Sunday, November 28, 2021

Russia recognises Taliban ‘efforts’ to stabilise Afghanistan

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Russia on Wednesday recognised Taliban efforts to try and stabilise the situation in Afghanistan but expressed concern that “terrorist” groups threatened the stability of the entire region.

Russia is hosting the Taliban for talks as the Kremlin seeks to assert its influence on Central Asia and push for action against Islamic State fighters which it says have massed in the perennially volatile country.

The talks are one of the Taliban’s most high-profile international meetings since seizing power in mid-August.

“A new administration is in power now,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told officials from 10 countries including China and Pakistan.

“We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus.”

But Russia’s top diplomat also said that “numerous terrorist groups” including Islamic State fighters and al-Qaeda have been seeking to exploit a security vacuum in the country and raise their profile.

Lavrov expressed regret that US officials did not take part in the talks.

He urged the international community to mobilise and provide Kabul with “effective” aid to prevent a humanitarian crisis and a further refugee exodus.

The talks come after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that IS fighters were gathering in Afghanistan to spread discord in former Soviet republics flanking Russia.

Russia hosts Taliban for talks

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