On October 20th, the first official meeting between the Taliban and the Russian government took place, following the forming of the Afghanistan government.
Notably, Russia called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government with the participation of all political forces in the country, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Taliban delegation in Moscow for meetings with Russia, China, Pakistan and India. pic.twitter.com/qzoiNsQSbS— Briar Stewart (@briarstewart) October 20, 2021
The task of achieving sustainable peace in Afghanistan is still urgent. We see the key to its sustainable solution, first of all, in the formation of a truly inclusive government, which should fully reflect the interests of all, not only ethnic, but also the political forces of the country,” he said.
Lavrov spoke at the opening of the third Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow. It was in Moscow in 2018 that representatives of the Ashraf Ghani government and the Taliban movement met for the first time in this format. The format originated in 2017, and was a tool for negotiations between the former government and the Taliban.
It should be mentioned that Lavrov did not attend a meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, but personally attended the online meeting with the Taliban representatives. Still, Lavrov expressed regret that there was no USA at this event.
Lavrov said he was satisfied with the level of interaction with the Taliban and was grateful to them for their assistance in returning Russians home from Afghanistan.
Lavrov condemned the previous republican government for abandoning its citizens to the Taliban and de-facto recognized the established government and the currant status of Afghanistan as The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
He underlined that the current Afghanistan issues are terrorism and drug trade. ISIS and Al-Qaeda need to be dealt with, while drug trafficking needs to be reduced, as the two issues are interlinked.
Finally, Lavrov called on the international community to mobilize financial assistance to Afghanistan. He further said that NATO and the collective West was responsible for the crisis in this Central Asian country.
He called on the West to ensure payments to Afghan teachers and doctors, who have been entirely abandoned and said that after 20 years of US and NATO intervention the economy has been left in a collapse, with no development.
The remainder of the meeting is behind closed doors.