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Russian envoy describes Doha meeting on Afghanistan as unproductive


Kabul: The meeting on Afghanistan that was held in Doha earlier this month yielded no results, and the West’s position at the talks was less than constructive, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS on Friday.

The envoy noted, however, that Russia welcomes the efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “[Guterres] tried to unite the divided camps of the so-called collective West with our regional team concerning Afghanistan,” he said.

The diplomat pointed to differences in approach. “We, the regionalists – Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asian countries and India – believe that the priority should be to create inclusive leadership in Afghanistan. And creating such a leadership structure will lead to the resolution of other very important issues like women’s rights in Afghanistan,” he explained. “At the same time, we should by no means forget about the issues of combating terrorism, which are also critical, and drugs,” Kabulov added.

According to him, Western countries “are putting the cart before the horse,” believing that the Taliban must first solve legal issues.” “This is not a workable approach,” the diplomat concluded.

The envoy also drew attention to another problem. “The second problem, which is the reason we can’t get on the same page with the Americans and other Western satellites of America at the moment, is the moral and political aspect. They have essentially stolen the national good of Afghanistan and are withholding more serious sums, that is the over $2.5 billion in humanitarian aid allocated to Afghanistan earlier,” he added, “We said, ‘Until you solve this problem, we principally cannot be on the same team as you, so solve these issues, then we can discuss common approaches for further negotiations with Kabul.’”

The diplomat added that the UN Secretary General understood all this and proposed to meet again in the foreseeable future to try to work out a common approach.

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