‘Russia against Taliban monopolising power’

KABUL (Pajhwok): Russia has conveyed to the Taliban Moscow is against them monopolising power, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during an interview.

“There is a need to form a government that will take into account the interests of all ethnic and political groups in Afghan society if we want to achieve a sustainable settlement,” he said.

The months ahead may be decisive in this regard. The forecasts are telling us that they may see another surge in seasonal combat activities. Much will depend on the willingness of the warring Afghan parties to conduct a constructive dialogue and to agree on key issues of a future state structure.

Lavrov said Russia stands ready for any turn developments in Afghanistan may take. “Of course, we are interested in a stable situation there. To this end, alongside other countries, we are energetically promoting the process of national reconciliation.” “Specifically, we are doing this as part of the expanded troika with Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan. We plan to step up the Moscow format activities going forward, which includes all countries in the region and the United States.”

Concerns about the Taliban seizing power are coming primarily from Western observers. However, first, the Taliban themselves are saying they have no such intentions, and second, there are political forces in Afghanistan which clearly will not be supportive of the Taliban coming to power through violence.