Russian, US envoys for Afghanistan to meet on February 22

Russian, US envoys for Afghanistan to meet on February 22

SAM Staff,
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Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov will hold a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in the Turkish capital of Ankara on February 22, as he himself said.

“The meeting will take place in Ankara on February 22,” he said in response to a TASS question. According to Kabulov, the parties will particularly discuss preparations for the next round of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan.

The Russian presidential envoy added that he would also hold consultations on the Afghan issue with Turkish diplomats during his visit to Ankara.

Russia would like representatives of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to take part in the presidential election in Afghanistan, their non-recognition of the election has an adverse effect on the situation in the country, he said.

“I would like the Taliban to take part in that election. However, their approach is different. They do not fully recognize the current constitution of Afghanistan,” he said. “The Taliban did not recognize the presidential elections in the past as well, and that will, of course, have an adverse effect on the situation. However, if the Taliban movement needs an acceptable partner willing to conduct negotiations, they will have to agree with that.”

The Taliban movement may be controlling up to 70% of Afghanistan’s total area, he added.

“The Taliban members are controlling more than half of Afghanistan’s territory. Directly speaking, they may be controlling up to 70% of the country’s territory,” he said.

Russia does not rule out the possibility of cooperation with representatives of the Taliban movement in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, terror group, outlawed in Russia). “Why not?” he said, adding that “the Taliban is fighting against the Islamic State in Afghanistan fairly successfully even without that cooperation.”

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