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Moscow format calls for UN donor conference on Afghanistan

Russian presidential envoy says to punish Taliban government means to punish entire Afghan people

Elena Teslova   | 20.10.2021
Moscow format calls for UN donor conference on Afghanistan


The participants of the Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan called on the UN to organize an international donor conference for the war-torn country, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow following the meeting, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said the global society has to unite its efforts in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“We must prevent an impending crisis, which some call a humanitarian catastrophe. To do this, the world community needs to unite and abandon biased approaches,” he said.

Kabulov expressed it is understandable that not everyone likes the new government in Afghanistan, but “to punish the new government means to punish the entire Afghan people, who do not deserve it,” he said.

The issue of the Taliban’s recognition as the legitimate authority of Afghanistan was raised at the meeting, he said, adding: “The moment will come when the Taliban will begin to fulfill most of the expectations of the international community, which concerns both human rights issues and inclusiveness of the government.”

Taliban insist their government already ‘inclusive’

In a separate statement, Abdul Salam Hanafi, acting as a second deputy prime minister in the Taliban government, claimed the Taliban’s government is already “inclusive”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Moscow format meeting, Hanafi called on the global society to recognize it.

He said the Taliban government is ready “to answer all the questions of the international community with all clarity, transparency and openness”.

“We confirm that the situation in Afghanistan is stable and there will be no threat from our territory to near and far countries,” he said.

Addressing the US, Hanafi demanded unfreezing of $9.4 billion Afghan assets, asserting: “It is the wealth of all Afghans, and our suffering people should not pay for political differences. Putting pressure on us, as previous events have shown, cannot bring any result.”

Hanafi also praised the role of Russia, saying it is “a strong regional player,” and the role of Troika Plus on Afghanistan that comprises China, Russia, the US, and Pakistan.

“The (expanded) Troika is a very important format for ensuring the security of the entire region. This is a platform for expressing points of view, as well as (finding) a common position among regional states,” he said.

The Moscow format, a mechanism established in 2017 for the Afghanistan issue, includes China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Afghanistan, and other countries.

It held several rounds of talks in Moscow in 2017 and 2018.

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