KABUL (Pajhwok): Russia has urged the Taliban to enter meaningful peace negotiations with the Afghan government and drastically reduce the level of violence.
“Our message to the Taliban is to resume meaningful talks as soon as possible, avoid further escalation of violence and respect the decisions of the UN Security Council,” the Russian foreign minister said on Friday.
Sergey Lavrov, at a joint news briefing with Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar in Moscow, was quoted as stressing an early stop to the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.
Russia was in touch with other countries interested in stabilising Afghanistan, he said, asking the Taliban to eschew setting new demands preconditions for peace talks.
The visiting Afghan minister claimed Taliban’s return to power was unacceptable to Russia, which would never support such moves. Lavrov endorsed his view that the insurgent outfit should resume talks and cut violence.
At the conclusion of his three-day trip, Atmar said: “We welcome Russia’s position. The Taliban shouldn’t be removed from the sanctions list unless they abide by their commitments toward peace.”