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Russia voices support for inclusive Afghan peace talks

Russia voices support for inclusive Afghan peace talks

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Dec 12, 2017 - 08:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Russia has voiced support for an inclusive political dialogue involving the Talibaninfo-icon and regional countries to bring peace to Afghanistaninfo-icon, an Indian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at an event organised by the Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi, confirmed Russia had contacted the militant group to sit down for negotiations.

The Hindu quoted him as rejecting the US strategy for defeating terrorism in Afghanistan. He said the military approach had not reduced violence over the last 15 years.

While stressing comprehensive talks, Lavrov said:  “You cannot resolve the situation without having everybody on board and around the table.

“The Afghan government, the Taliban and those who can influence the situation, including neighbours, should find a political solution,” added the foreign minister.

He vehemently denounced allegations by the US that Russia had been open to unconditional dialogue with the Taliban and had been supplying the insurgents with weapons.

Lavrov asserted: “Never ever was there any proof or fact that Russia supported the Taliban or armed them as claimed by some American officials.

“We have contacted the Taliban only for two reasons, when our citizens or citizens of our allies got into harm’s way and we had to extract them and the second was to persuade the Taliban to sit down and negotiate.”

He restated Moscow’s position that the Taliban must join talks if they renounced violence, cut links with terrorist organisations and respected the constitution of Afghanistan.

A joint communiqué issued after a meeting among the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China called for stronger partnerships by the worldinfo-icon community to counter all forms of terrorism.

It also underlined the disruption of terror financing and supply of arms and spread of terrorist ideology. Those committing, organising, inciting or supporting terrorist acts held accountable under international law.

The communiqué said the three countries backed an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned national peace and reconciliation” and the building of a peaceful, united, democratic, stable and pluralistic state.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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