Top Russian diplomat lauds Moscow talks on Afghanistan

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MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that a meeting on Afghanistan earlier this month in Moscow has given fresh momentum to the stalled negotiations in Doha on the settlement of the Afghan issue.

Speaking at the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Lavrov said Afghanistan is going through a difficult period of its development.

“The military and political situation in the country is still very alarming. Terrorist attacks are staged frequently, and a seasonal increase in combat activities cannot be ruled out. In this context, it is necessary to do everything possible to reduce the level of violence,” he said.

However, progress has been made on the Afghan track — the Taliban and the US suspended hostilities and the intra-Afghan talks started in Doha, he added.

“We are convinced that these achievements must be used to move without any delay towards finding solutions on national reconciliation issues and the creation of broadly representative bodies of power,” he said.

Lavrov added that Russia works “energetically” in various formats to contribute to the Afghan settlement.

“On March 18, 2021, Moscow hosted a regular meeting of the extended “Troika” comprising representatives of Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan, which was also attended by representatives of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, prominent Afghan political figures and representatives of the Taliban movement, as well as Qatar and Turkey as guests of honor. We believe that the discussion held by the Afghan delegations has given a fresh momentum to the negotiations in Doha,” he said.

Russia has always promoted the development of Afghanistan as an independent and self-sufficient state free from terrorism and drugs, Lavrov said.

“We sincerely hope that the Afghan people will restore a lasting peace as soon as possible and will turn a new page in the country’s history,” he added.

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