The Russian foreign minister Friday expressed hope that the confrontation between the Taliban and resistance group in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan will be solved peacefully.
Speaking at New Knowledge Forum in Moscow, Sergey Lavrov said: “I hope the latest confrontation in the north of Afghanistan in the Panjshir Valley will end soon, giving way to negotiations.”
Moscow actively promotes a dialogue among all ethnic and religious groups in Afghanistan, the minister said, adding: “Without negotiations among all the key players, including Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras, nothing can be solved there. And trying to claim that the Taliban are not the main players is not very realistic.”
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, forcing former President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials to leave the country. The Panjshir Valley in the north is the only territory not under the Taliban's control. Negotiations have so far failed and there are conflicting reports on clashes.
Home to the country’s largest ethnic Tajik population, Panjshir was defended by commander Ahmad Shah Massoud during the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s.
His son Ahmad Massoud, and Bismillah Mohammedi, the defense minister in Ghani's Cabinet, are now leading the resistance against the Taliban.
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