The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the Russian Federation has expressed its strong opposition to the return of the Taliban’s regime and prefers improvement in the ongoing peace efforts.
MOFA said that Russia is not in favor of removing the Taliban leaders’ names from the UN blacklist without progress in the Afghan peace talks.
The statement came as Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar visited Moscow and met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
“We strongly support Russia’s position on the Afghan peace process, particularly the stance that the return of Taliban regime will not be acceptable,” Atmar said hours after his meeting with Lavrov on Friday. “We also welcome Russia’s stance on the UN sanctions on the Taliban,” Atmar added.
Atmar added: “Durable peace in Afghanistan is possible only within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Republic will not allow international terrorism to operate in Afghanistan and this is in the interest of Russia.”
Meanwhile, State Ministry for Peace Affairs Sayed Saadat Mansoor Naderi called on the Taliban to demonstrate flexibility in the talks and agree on ceasefire, which is the main demand of Afghans.
“Afghans want an end to the bloodshed. Afghans want dignified peace, Let’s not waste this opportunity. The solution lies in the negotiating table,” Naderi said.
“The second round of talks is quite important. This round should move forward without any delay,” said Assadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
The MoFA statement comes days after Russian Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov in an interview with Sputnik said that Moscow prefers that all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan agree on the establishment of an inclusive and transitional coalition government.
Kaboluv stated that it would be a bad scenario if the Taliban insisted on such an approach; however, he said, Russia believes that it would be good if there was a transitional coalition government in place in which the Taliban had political status.
He said the peace talks in Doha have failed, calling for the peace process to proceed in the Moscow format where there is also the presence of the US, Russia, China and Afghanistan’s neighboring nations.
The Russian envoy said the talks in Doha are only about making contact, not peace negotiations.
The Afghan Republic and the Taliban negotiators held their third meeting on Thursday evening after over a month-long deadlock in the talks with the main focus on the agenda of the negotiators, officials confirmed.
The meeting was held in working group level that is aimed at finalizing the agenda of the negotiations.