Russian Embassy In Kabul Denounces Reports On Russia's Assistance To Taliban Movement

Russian Embassy in Kabul Denounces Reports on Russia's Assistance to Taliban Movement

The Russian embassy in Afghanistan on Wednesday called the reports in local Afghan media on Russia's alleged assistance to the Taliban radical movement a "groundless" and "orchestrated throw-in" which was aimed at discrediting Moscow's stance to restoring peace in Afghanistan

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th September, 2019) The Russian embassy in Afghanistan on Wednesday called the reports in local Afghan media on Russia's alleged assistance to the Taliban radical movement a "groundless" and "orchestrated throw-in" which was aimed at discrediting Moscow's stance to restoring peace in Afghanistan.

On September 13, Russian Presidential Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov received the Taliban delegation in Moscow. The visit was aimed at discussing three major topics, namely the bilateral cooperation over the Afghan peace process, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and economic cooperation in the future. Moscow stressed the need to resume talks between the Taliban and the United States, while the movement confirmed readiness to do so.

"Amid the recent visit of a delegation of the Qatari office of the Taliban movement to Moscow, the Russian embassy in Kabul noted the yet another occurrence in the Afghan media of groundless accusations of Russia is providing support to the Taliban movement," the embassy said on the VK social network.

The embassy cited the publication of the Hewad newspaper on September 15, which claimed that the Taliban had received significant support from Russia and had their weaponry transported to Tajikistan for repairs. Another report by the Ettelaat-e Ruz newspaper the same day claimed Russia to be the main beneficiary should the US-Taliban talks be disrupted.

"The embassy tends to consider both incidents an orchestrated 'throw-in,' aimed at discrediting the constructive stance of Moscow in terms of building a peaceful and stable Afghanistan in line with the aspirations and needs of the Afghan people," the diplomatic statement read.

The embassy stressed that similar reports surfaced in local Afghan media last year as well, yet no concrete evidence was presented to neither Afghan law enforcement, nor Russian officials.

The Taliban have long been engaged in an armed confrontation with the Afghan government. Amid the country being marred in the insurgency, including due to terrorists' activity, the sides have attempted to launch reconciliation talks, but to no avail. In recent months, the Taliban and Washington have conducted several rounds of peace consultations, which evolved around two main issues the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and intra-Afghan dialogue.

Earlier this year, media reported that US President Donald Trump decided to cancel his meeting with the Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on September 8, guided by his then-National Security Adviser John Bolton who fervently opposed engagement in any sort of contacts with the Taliban. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the other hand, has a different opinion on the matter. Last week, Trump announced that Bolton was dismissed from his post.

As confirmed by Russian Envoy to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia, Russia endorses the restoration of US-Taliban talks and counts on an agreement between the two parties to be reached soon.

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