Concern over the thaw in relations between Russia and the Taliban could complicate fight against terrorism.
Six Nation Talks in Moscow Ponder Afghanistan Crisis
A renewed attempt at finding a peaceful end to the lingering unrest in conflict-ridden Afghanistan held in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry has announced.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said that the consultative meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow is a positive step in promoting regional cooperation and solidarity in the war against terrorism.
Moscow has hosted at least two meetings on Afghanistan in less than two months in a bid to bring the much-awaited Afghan peace negotiation process between the government and the Taliban group back on track. The Taliban has long continued its armed struggle against the central government in Kabul.
The six nations talks include representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, India, China and Iran where they will discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that high-level delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and India are currently holding discussions in Moscow and details of the diplomacy will be soon shared.
“Moscow is currently hosting consultations on Afghanistan involving senior officials of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and India and we will be brief you on the outcome of this meeting,” said Zakharova.
Speaking on the impact of such talks on core issues facing the wider region, particularly Afghanistan, Faramarz Tamanna, chairman Afghanistan Center for Strategic Thinking at the MoFA, has said that holding such meetings would be helpful in boosting regional cooperation in campaign against terrorism.
“We should try to create a common understanding between the regional countries in order to attain the partnership of all regional countries in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” said Faramarz Tamanna.
Political commentators believe that Russia’s interests in Afghanistan’s political situation and the thaw in ties between Russians and the Taliban would further complicate the war in Afghanistan.
“Supporting the Taliban in the long term could create a problem for Afghanistan,” said political analyst Hamid Saboori.
It appears however, that Kabul is no longer concerned about the thaw in relations between the Taliban and Moscow and a possible rivalry between Russia and the United States in Afghanistan following a trip to Moscow by Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani to Moscow earlier this month.
“There activities are not concerning for us, but we try to get their supports in restoring peace,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman to CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
Last week general John Nicholson, the commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan said the increasing influence of Russia in Afghanistan would impact Afghan government’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and Kabul’s bid in restoring longstanding peace and security.