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Central Asia worried about Taliban advances

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KABUL: As Taliban advance in northern Afghanistan, Central Asian countries are more and more worried about the danger of the militants infiltrating the region, urging the Taliban to return to peace talks.

Central Asian parliamentarians raised the issue at an inter-parliamentary meeting on Thursday in Tajikistan, attended by the Speakers of the House of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Russia, Serbia and Belarus.

Mir Rahman Rahmani, Speaker of the House, also attended the meeting on behalf of Afghanistan. Rahmani called on the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to assist Afghanistan in providing humanitarian assistance, corona vaccines and medical supplies, said a statement.

The meeting discussed regional security, the situation in Afghanistan, security challenges, and greater coordination to combat terrorism, religious extremism and the prevention of recent Taliban violence.

Earlier, the United States called on the Taliban to renounce their violence and return to peace talks.

Ross Wilson, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Kabul, tweeted on Wednesday that the world would not accept a state formed “by force” in Afghanistan.

The international community is also urging the Taliban to return to peace talks as violence escalates to an all-time high.

This is as the long-drawn-out peace talks in Doha has stalled as both sides continue to accuse each other of fabricating excuses and lacking interest in continuing the talks.

Violence in northern Afghanistan also continues unabated. Last week, the Taliban claimed they had captured Sher Khan Bandar – the most important border crossing between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

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