Russia to participate in Tehran meeting on Afghanistan

October 26, 2021 - 10:51

TEHRAN – A senior Russia diplomat has told Russian state media that his country would take part in a regional meeting in Tehran on Afghanistan.

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has said that Moscow is making preparations for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to address the meeting, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Monday. 

Kabulov did not say whether Lavrov would personally attend the meeting or address it virtually. 

Iran will host the meeting on Wednesday and the foreign ministers of Iran, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will attend. Of course, the Chinese Foreign Minister will attend the meeting virtually, according to Fars News.

This will be the second regional meeting on Afghanistan. The first meeting was held in Pakistan. 

In mid-October meeting, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said the meeting will focus on forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan. 

“The six countries will be focused on how they can help form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the presence of all ethnic groups, and how they can help shape a future of peace and security in Afghanistan,” Khatibzadeh said. 

Earlier in September, Pakistan held a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors. The Pakistani Foreign Office in a statement said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi chaired the meeting attended by China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“At the invitation of Pakistan, Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan issue among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan will be held in virtual format on 8 September 2021,” it said.

It added the meeting reviewed the evolving situation in Afghanistan to address common challenges and realize emerging opportunities to ensure regional stability and prosperity.

It provided an opportunity to neighbors of Afghanistan to work together for shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, which is essential to forge strong economic linkages and realize connectivity agenda, the statement noted.

The meeting was to build upon the discussions, held at the Special Representatives/Envoys level, on 5 September 2021.

“The neighbors of Afghanistan have a vital stake in the stability of the country. A peaceful, stable, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan will contribute towards transit trade, people-to-people exchanges and security in the region,” said the statement.

The Wednesday meeting is in expected to complete the discussions held at the first meeting. It also comes amid rising concerns over a sectarian war in Afghanistan in the wake of recent attacks on Shia mosques in Kunduz and Kandahar. 

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