Fri, 03 Dec 2021

By Naveen KapoorMoscow [Russia]/New Delhi [India], October 20 (ANI): At the Moscow Format Dialogue, Russia has said that the Taliban must not allow its territory to be used by terrorists against neighbours.

In the opening remarks of the Moscow Format talks on Afghanistan which commenced earlier today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, " We call upon Taliban movement to strictly abide by the policy that prevents the use of Afghan territory against the interest of third countries first and foremost of your neighbouring countries by anyone.""Numerous terrorist groups, first and foremost ISIL and Al Qaeda are trying to once again launch deadly attacks in various parts of the countries," Lavrov added.

Russia also expressed concerns over pressing drug production, Russian Foreign Minister said, "Unfortunately problem of drug production remains pressing and today real threat is terrorist and drug-related activities including those disguised as migrations spilling over to neighbouring territory this is why we are understandably worried about central Asian region."Russia echoed what India has been saying that Afghan territory is used against by terror groups. India during its presidency at the UNSC brought resolution 2593 that prevents Afghan territory to be used for terrorism.

UN Security Council resolution 2593, passed under the presidency of India, demands Afghan soil shouldn't be used in any way for terrorism and seeks an inclusive and negotiated settlement to the crisis in the war-torn country.

Russia deplored the non-participation of the US in the talks and has asked the Western countries to not just provide traditional humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan but also pay salaries.

Lavrov said, "We expect a responsible behaviour towards Afghan citizens, first and foremost from Western countries whose 20 years-long presence in Afghanistan brought about the current deplorable situation and did not contribute in strengthening industrial and economic sphere in Afghanistan.""We believe that West should not only provide traditional humanitarian assistance but also assist to pay salaries to significant citizens of Afghanistan including doctors teachers and so on," the Russian Foreign Minister added in his opening remarks.

At the outset of the Moscow Format Dialogue on Afghanistan, Russia lauded the Taliban's efforts to get government mechanism on track but also asserted that the situation is still not stable and for sustainable peace, there is a need for a fully inclusive government that represents all ethnic groups of the country.

Lavrov added, "Such political farsightedness will serve a good lesson who sacrificed national interest to satisfy their own political ambitions essentially casting their people adrift."The Moscow Format dates back to as early as 2017, it was at this platform that in November 2019 that the Taliban delegation and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan camp of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met for the first time at the negotiation table in the presence of representatives of ten countries.

India is also taking part in the Moscow Format talks. A senior official of the Ministry of External affairs JP Singh is representing India.

India has so far not recognized the Taliban regime. However, on the discussion table in Moscow Format representation of Taliban is there, the US did not take part citing logistic issues. Moscow format talks started in 2017.

Russia also said that that central coordinating role in international efforts in Afghanistan should be played by the United Nations.

Russia also said the collective call of the countries of Moscow Format will be heard by Afghan leadership and hoped to receive favourable relevant response. (ANI)

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