Russia on Wednesday hosted the Taliban representatives at a conference in Moscow city and called for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, AP reported.
“A new administration is in power now,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to AFP. “We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus.”
Lavrov added that the Russian government is yet to recognise the Taliban administration as it wanted the insurgent group to fulfill the promises of political and ethnic inclusivity, Al Jazeera reported.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15 as the United States and its allies prepared to pull out their troops from the country after 20 years. The insurgent group’s return to power triggered turmoil in Afghanistan, with thousands of people leaving the country to escape their rule.
In September, an interim all-male Taliban government was formed in Afghanistan. The country’s new prime minister, Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, is on the sanctions list of the United Nations.
In 2003, Russia had designated the Taliban as a terrorist organisation and has not changed its status till date, AP reported. Contact with terrorist groups is punishable in Russia.
However, the Russian government on Wednesday said that its exchanges with the Taliban are bringing stability to Afghanistan.
Wednesday’s conference in Moscow focused on Afghanistan’s future, Al Jazeera reported. It was attended by officials from 10 countries, including China and Pakistan. India is also set to participate in the talks on Wednesday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the meeting was “an attempt to know what will happen in Afghanistan going forward”.
Lavrov urged the international community to provide “effective financial humanitarian” aid to Kabul to prevent a crisis and reduce migration flow to other countries, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Lavrov observed that drug trafficking in Afghanistan had reached “unprecedented” levels, AFP reported. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin had also raised similar concerns.
Putin had also claimed that 2,000 fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had gathered in northern Afghanistan. The leaders of the group planned to send these fighters to other countries disguised as refugees, Putin had said.