Banned in Russia as a terrorist organization "Taliban" for the first time took part in the talks in Moscow on resolving the situation in Afghanistan. The meeting was held in the framework of the Moscow format of consultations on peace in the country. Will Moscow help stop the war in the republic?
Not only Russia invites the Taliban to take part in the negotiations
- The radical Taliban held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, until it was overthrown with the participation of the international coalition forces. However, it was not possible to finally defeat the movement. The situation in Afghanistan has become tense in recent years – in 2017, the US Air Force tripled the number of bomb attacks on militant positions in the country, but terrorist attacks and attacks by radical Islamists are constantly taking place in the country.
- According to a BBC study, the Taliban are active in 70% of the territory of Afghanistan. The Taliban are confident that as soon as the US and NATO withdraw the military from Afghanistan, they will be able to regain power in Kabul. Therefore, representatives of the lawful authorities of Afghanistan and the United States are ready to verbally involve representatives of the movement in the peace process.
Representatives of the Taliban "first arrived in Moscow
- In 2003, the Supreme Court of Russia banned the Taliban as a terrorist organization in Russia. Given that the movement has never acted on the territory of the country. In August, the Russian newspaper “Arguments of the Week” published material that the decision to ban could be revised – the expert community perceived the publication as part of negotiations with the Taliban about inviting them to a dialogue.
- Representatives of the movement were to take part in the talks in Moscow in September, but they were canceled at the request of the President of Afghanistan. In the list of participants of the conference in Moscow, as a result, there were no delegates from the presidential administration and from the government. The republic was represented by the former head of the transitional administration of the country and President Hamid Karzai and representatives of the High Peace Council. They conveyed to the Taliban representatives an invitation to take part in peace talks.
The Taliban announced that peace talks can only be conducted with the United States
- However, the Taliban continue to insist that they consider the central authority of Afghanistan to be illegitimate. The head of the Taliban delegation at the consultations in Moscow, Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, said that he would only talk about peace with the United States. And the meeting in Moscow was not dedicated to direct negotiations. “Our main demand is the withdrawal of foreign troops,” Stanakzai stressed.
Expert assessments of the outcome of the meeting differ – some of the representatives of the expert community believe that the Moscow format of negotiations is not able to solve the problem. On the other hand, bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table with the participation of Russia can already be regarded as a great success, experts say.