SCO-Afghanistan Meeting To Take Place In Dushanbe On July 14 - Moscow
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 09th July, 2021) A meeting between foreign ministers of Afghanistan and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe next Wednesday to discuss the situation amid the pullout of foreign troops, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"A meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group will take place on July 14. Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] will take part in it. The heads of the foreign ministries will thoroughly discuss international and regional issues and, of course, priority attention will be paid to the state of affairs in Afghanistan in the context of the withdrawal of foreign military contingents from this country," Zakharova said at a briefing.
Afghanistan is torn in a confrontation between government forces and the Taliban (banned in Russia), who have seized significant territories in rural areas and launched an offensive against large cities. Tensions have flared up as the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country is nearing its end.
In recent days, thousands of Afghan government soldiers have fled to neighboring Tajikistan, escaping from the Taliban, which took over 70% of the Afghan-Tajik border under its control. Uzbekistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan, has refused to accept Afghan soldiers trying to cross borders.
The representative of Tajikistan to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Khasan Sultonov, at a meeting of the permanent council of the organization, said that it would be difficult for Dushanbe to cope with the challenges coming from Afghanistan alone, so the republic asks its CSTO allies to help. According to Tajikistan, the current circumstances require "an adequate response within the CSTO, including the adoption of measures to strengthen the capacity to protect the southern borders."