Assertions about Taliban contact ‘misinterpreted’: Russian envoy
Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Russia’s foreign ministry department chief, had asserted Moscow had opened channels of communication with the insurgent group for sharing information.
“Both the Taliban of Afghanistan and the Taliban of Pakistan have said that they don’t recognise (IS leader Abu Bakr) Al-Baghdadi as a caliph, that they don’t recognise ISIL," the Russian diplomat had said.
But the Afghan Taliban have said they did not need the help of Moscow to defeat the Islamic State.
However, on Sunday Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hikmat Khalil Karzai held a meeting with Russian Ambassador in Kabul Alexander Mantytskiy and demanded explanation of the remarks by the Russian special envoy, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
In response, the Russian Ambassador said the statements of the Russian foreign ministry officials had been quoted out of context and misinterpreted.
The ambassador said as both Russians and Taliban were fighting a common enemy, the Russian contact with the Taliban in the fight against Daesh was aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Mantytskiy insisted Moscow had always supported the Afghan government and wished a stable, peaceful and violence-free Afghanistan.
Karzai and Mantytskiy also discussed important issues of mutual interests and bilateral relations between the two countries.
They also talked about joint efforts against terrorism and drugs and discussed a joint consultative meeting between the foreign ministries of the two countries. The meeting in Moscow will take place in the near future, according to the statement.
Afghan lawmakers have strongly reacted to Russian contact with the Taliban and have called it interference in Afghanistan’s affairs.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.