Thursday October 21, 2021
Afghanistan conference in Moscow
Taliban: “Isolation in nobody’s interest”
Most of Afghanistan’s cash reserves are still frozen, while the country is heading for an economic and humanitarian catastrophe. Russia fears for the security of the neighboring ex-Soviet republics and invites you to an international conference. The participating Taliban are cooperative.
Participants in an Afghanistan conference in Moscow called on the militant Islamist Taliban to ensure lasting peace. The rights of the various ethnic groups as well as those of women and children in the crisis-ridden country in the Hindu Kush must also be protected, according to a final statement published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday evening. The participants, including the Taliban themselves, expressed great concern about the catastrophic economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
According to Russian figures, representatives from ten countries took part in the talks. These include Afghanistan’s neighbors China, Iran and Pakistan. The Taliban delegation consisted of ten people, with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi leading the group. Acting Foreign Minister of the Taliban Amir Chan Mutaki told journalists in Moscow that they are calling on the international community to contribute to Afghanistan’s stability, to provide humanitarian aid and to free up the country’s assets at this sensitive time.
The Taliban’s head of delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, said his government was ready to discuss “all concerns of the international community with all clarity, transparency and openness”. An international isolation of Afghanistan is “in nobody’s interest”. Hanafi appealed to the international community to make funds available for the reconstruction of the country. “We don’t need foreign military aid, we need support for peace in Afghanistan, we need reconstruction and resettlement,” he said.
When the Taliban came to power, around nine billion US dollars in the country’s central bank reserves, most of which are parked in the United States, were frozen. After the withdrawal of the international NATO troops, the Taliban had conquered large parts of the country. On August 15, they entered the capital Kabul without a fight and have been ruling ever since. Your all-male government faces numerous problems. A serious humanitarian crisis is looming, the UN sees the economy on the verge of collapse. A drought in the country and the upcoming winter with rising prices are further exacerbating the situation.
Russia warns of the strength of ISIS
The UN predicts a strong movement of refugees within Afghanistan and possibly also beyond the borders, if money is not made available to care for the people. Russia is also concerned that the security situation among its allies in Central Asia could deteriorate. Countries like Tajikistan border directly on Afghanistan. Last week, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin warned against strengthening the Islamic State (IS) jihadist militia in Afghanistan and the consequences for the neighboring ex-Soviet republics. According to Putin, there are around 2,000 fighters in the north of Afghanistan who are close to ISIS and who could find their way to neighboring countries in Central Asia disguised as refugees. Russia also fears an expansion of drug trafficking to neighboring countries.
Moscow has repeatedly hosted Afghanistan conferences in a variety of formats. Representatives of the Taliban have also been present in the past. Other countries are also holding talks with them, including the USA, which this time canceled their participation. Iran plans to host a conference on Afghanistan next week. In Russia, the Taliban are banned as a terrorist organization.