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Russia, Troika and Afghanistan

To what extent will the Taliban (members of the Taliban terrorist organization banned in Russia) be ready to actually fulfill their previous obligations?

"The SCO and CSTO member states are united in the fact that the United States and its NATO allies should bear full responsibility for the post-conflict socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in response to a question from The Moscow Post about consultations within the SCO to determine the positions of Russia and the CSTO on contacts with the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia).

CSTO and Afghanistan

Recall that in Dushanbe, on the eve of the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, a joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Defense Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of CSTO Security Councils was held.

The participants exchanged views on the military-political situation in the collective security regions of the CSTO with a focus on the situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the security of member states. Measures of joint response to potential threats, issues of foreign policy coordination, military cooperation, countering international terrorism, challenges and threats were discussed.

By decision of the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils, within the framework of the CSTO, the Coordinating Council of Authorized Bodies for Biological Security will be formed, decisions on joint training of military personnel will be approved. On the Russian initiative, joint statements were adopted by the CSTO foreign ministers, including on the situation in Afghanistan.

According to Zakharova, "The leaders of Russia and other countries clearly outlined their position in favor of forming a truly representative and inclusive government, taking into account the interests of all ethnopolitical forces of the country. The further joint line depends on the extent to which the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) will be ready to actually fulfill their previous obligations regarding the subsequent development of this country. "

SCO and Afghanistan

The SCO anniversary meeting was held in Dushanbe. It was in this city in July 2000 that the leaders of the Shanghai Five - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - advocated the establishment of a regional organization of multilateral cooperation. It is possible that the "anniversary" will become "historical," as it contributed to the rapprochement of the positions of the participating countries on Afghanistan.

Vladimir Putin in his speech noted that "the algorithm for joint actions to quickly respond to threats from Afghan territory was discussed in detail yesterday at a session of the CSTO Collective Security Council. And of course, we are interested that the decisions made at the session meet the support and understanding of the SCO partners.... This gives us the opportunity to discuss in more detail the issues of practical cooperation between the two organizations on the Afghan track, to build the necessary coordination taking into account the specifics and powers of the SCO and the CSTO. "

Sergey Lavrov, speaking in Dushanbe on September 15 and answering a question on the participation of the representative of Afghanistan in the consultations within the SCO, noted that this country "is an observer" and is always invited to the SCO summits. Former Afghan President A. Ghani received an invitation, but fled the country, leaving his post.

The Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) have not yet been officially recognized. They proclaimed their goals, declared their commitment to the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, assured that there would be no threats to neighboring countries from the territory of Afghanistan, that the government would be inclusive, reflecting the entire spectrum of Afghan society, the minister said.

As Maria Zakharova noted in response to a question from The Moscow Post correspondent, "The further joint line depends on the extent to which the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) will be ready to actually fulfill their previous obligations regarding the subsequent development of this country."

Kabul Troika

It is clear that contacts with the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) are necessary, both on current issues, security issues, issues of citizens' rights, and security issues of diplomatic missions of Russia, China and Pakistan. Contacts on "risk removal" for the southern neighbors of Russia are maintained. But they have not yet received official recognition. According to Sergei Lavrov, "Russia, like the vast majority of countries, is in no hurry," watching how the intentions of the new government will look in practice.

But then everything developed rapidly: on September 14-16, Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Iran.

During a joint meeting of the heads of states of the SCO and the CSTO on September 17, the Russian president noted that "the Taliban movement (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), becoming almost the sovereign master of the country, formed its government, which took responsibility for the future of Afghanistan."

On September 21, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan takes part in a meeting of delegations of the Russian Federation, China and Pakistan with the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia)

Indeed, Zamir Kabulov, special representative of the President of the Russian Federation, met in Kabul with representatives of the Taliban movement (a terrorist organization banned in Russia). They discussed the current situation, the future of the country and interstate cooperation, the RIA Novosti Agency reported with reference to the representative of this movement.

The head of the interim government of Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, received, in addition to Zamir Kabulov, representatives of the special representative of the government of Pakistan in Kabul, Mohammad Sadiq Khan and the special representative of the PRC for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyun.

On the part of the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), members of the interim Afghan cabinet of ministers, including the head of the Ministry of Finance Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, as well as Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaki, took part in this meeting.

It is noted that during the negotiations, the head of the interim Cabinet of Afghanistan asked the representatives of the "troika" in the Russian Federation, China and Pakistan "to call on the United States and other countries to stop putting pressure on the Afghan people."

According to Zakharova: "The leaders of Russia and other countries clearly outlined their position in favor of forming a truly representative and inclusive government, taking into account the interests of all ethnopolitical forces of the country."

Russia and China

All this may indicate that, firstly, Russia, China and Pakistan are recognized by the authorities in Kabul as key players in Afghanistan after fleeing the US country and its NATO allies. Secondly, it is possible that this meeting, preceded by consultations within the framework of the SCO and the CSTO, may be followed by the recognition of the new authorities by the "troika" of states.

"As for recognition, I think I agree with those who spoke on this subject, we need to agree on our position on this issue. Building such a dialogue would be considered optimal through the mechanism of the expanded troika on Afghanistan, and work is already underway in this direction, "said Vladimir Putin, speaking at a joint meeting of the heads of the SCO and CSTO member states.

At the same time, he recalled the previously existing Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan with the participation of SCO and CSTO partners, proposing to restore it.

He mentioned the "possible resumption" of the work of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group.

And Sergey Lavrova, on September 16, during negotiations "on the sidelines" of the SCO in Dushanbe with Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister of the PRC, said that "Afghanistan is in everyone's hearing" and offered to "exchange views on regional issues." And he added: "Checking the clock" between us, especially on the eve of the session of the UN General Assembly, is very timely.

Let's see what "clock reconciliation" means and what it may have to do with the UNGA session in New York, where President Biden has already spoken. They say it's not very successful.

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