Taliban vow to work with regional players over Daesh threats - GulfToday

Taliban vow to work with regional players over Daesh threats


Head of the Taliban delegation Abdul Salam Hanafi speaks to the media in Moscow on Wednesday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

The Taliban agreed on Wednesday to work with Russia, China and Iran on regional security, a round of diplomacy that underlined Moscow's clout in Central Asia.

The Kremlin warned of emerging Daesh and drug-trafficking threats in the wake of the hardline group's takeover in Afghanistan.


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The talks came after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Daesh fighters were massing in northern Afghanistan to spread religious and ethnic discord in former Soviet republics that Moscow considers its backyard.

Sergei Lavrov speaks during the conference with Taliban representatives in Moscow on Wednesday. AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened the talks and emphasised that "forming a really inclusive government fully reflecting the interests of not only all ethnic groups but all political forces of the country” is necessary to achieve a stable peace in Afghanistan, a nation of 39 million.

During talks in the Russian capital — the Taliban's latest high-profile international appearance since they took power in August — ten participating countries also called for "urgent" humanitarian aid for Afghans and said countries that recently withdrew troops from Afghanistan should fund reconstruction efforts.

In a joint statement Wednesday parties to the Moscow meeting said they had raised concerns about the activity of terror groups and "reaffirmed their willingness to continue to promote security in Afghanistan to contribute to regional stability".

Taliban representatives prior to the talks in Moscow had met with European Union and US officials and travelled to Turkey to win official recognition and aid from the international community after their takeover in mid-August.

Officials and Taliban delegation take part in international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on Wednesday. Reuters

Its delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior figure in the new Afghan leadership, again called for recognition saying that "the isolation of Afghanistan is not in the interest of any side. This has been proven in the past."

The Kremlin's envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov however said official recognition would only come when the Taliban meets expectations on human rights and inclusive governance.

In their joint statement participants echoed those concerns, urging the Taliban to "practise moderate and sound internal and external policies" and "adopt friendly policies towards neighbours of Afghanistan".

On domestic policy, they called on the Taliban to "respect the rights of ethnic groups, women and children".

The hardline group badly needs allies as Afghanistan's economy is in a parlous state with international aid cut off, food prices rising and unemployment spiking.




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