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Russia Wants Transitional Government in Afghanistan

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KABUL: Russia says it wants Afghanistan to have a coalition transitional government.

“When Taliban proclaim themselves the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, they claim to represent Afghanistan. Therefore, no other government is discussed. We recognize today’s Taliban as a military-political movement that is an inseparable part of Afghanistan,” said Zamir Kabulov, President Putin’s Special Representative on Afghanistan.

“I am clearly saying that Russia doesn’t recognize Taliban as the only leader of Afghanistan. We call on Afghans including Taliban as part of the country to reach an agreement over the formation of an administration in the future. This belongs to Afghans how a government they want after a political settlement,” Kabulov told Sputnik, a Russian news agency on Tuesday.

The Russian diplomat rejected the ongoing efforts in Qatar as intra-Afghan dialogue, calling it just preparations for the beginning of the intra-Afghan talks.

He confirmed that the peace negotiations between Afghanistan and Taliban in Qatar are stalled, saying that it is not negotiation and is just contacts between two Afghan sides.

Kabulov revealed that Taliban told them in Moscow that do not have an outlook for negotiating with Kabul’s delegation, arguing that the Afghan delegation is ordered by President Ghani to sabotage the talks.

He announced Moscow’s readiness to host the “intra-Afghan” negotiations. “We need to consult with other partners too in this regard. But we need another mechanism that was shaped in the past two years with the US initiative and we supported. We should form a group consisting of the United States, Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan,” he said.

“I have been assigned by my leadership to facilitate the intra-Afghan talks. I sat with the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and we agreed to hold the talks in Moscow. I have invited our Iranian partners as well and I hope we receive positive answer from them.”

He said that Afghan government and Taliban would not be included the group.

“You need to be flexible. Americans showed flexibility in signing a peace deal with the Taliban, but they insisted that Washington would not recognize Taliban as the Islamic Emirate. This is a game of expressions and formulas and we know how to play this game. The final point is to end bloodshed in Afghanistan. We directly told Taliban that we don’t like long speeches on the Islamic Emirate because it would hinder the talks.”

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