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31 Mar, 2022 07:59

World must work with Taliban – Moscow

Russia says a lack of political diversity stands in the way of the Afghan government’s recognition by the UN
World must work with Taliban – Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that the world must work more closely with the Taliban government in Afghanistan, welcoming the steps towards its recognition by the United Nations. The militant group seized power in Kabul last year, as Western forces were completing their withdrawal from the country.

Lavrov was meeting with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, in Tunxi, China.

“We’re convinced that the international community must actively cooperate with the new government of Afghanistan, encouraging the steps towards its official recognition by the UN and all its member states,” Lavrov said.

[Despite] not having enough governing experience, financial and economic constraints, political and diplomatic pressure from the US and their allies, Afghanistan’s new administration is generally managing to keep the state afloat.

At the same time, Lavrov said the lack of diversity was “the main obstacle” on the way of the Taliban government’s recognition around the world. “I’m talking about the absence of people in official positions, who are not only representing different ethnic groups, but also… religious minorities and [different] political forces.”

Lavrov added that the first diplomat sent by the Taliban to Moscow has already received accreditation.

The Taliban returned to power after seizing Kabul last year. They previously ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 until they were toppled during the US-led invasion of the country.

The last Western forces left Afghanistan in August 2021.

The UN has, so far, not recognized the Taliban’s pick for a new envoy to the body. However, it did decide this month to formally reestablish an office in the country.