Putin asks for avoidance

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday denounced “irresponsible” policies in Afghanistan, calling for the “collapse of the Afghan state” to be avoided and for terrorists to flee.

“There have been irresponsible policies. We must give up the will to build democracy in other countries according to external models without taking into account historical, national and religious particularities, by completely ignoring the traditions of other peoples. I think this is the lesson of Afghanistan.” Vladimir Putin said, according to France-Presse and La Libre.

“The Taliban now have control over almost all of Afghan territory; it is a reality that we must take into account in order not to allow the collapse of the Afghan state,” Vladimir Putin added.

“It is important to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into neighboring states, including those who claim to be refugees,” Vladimir Putin stressed.

The Moscow administration did not evacuate its diplomatic staff from Kabul and noted that it had received “positive signals” from Taliban leaders. Russia believes the current crisis in Afghanistan is the result of a “sudden withdrawal” of US troops. Moscow advocates “national dialogue” in Afghanistan, “with the participation of all political, ethnic and religious forces.”

“We must join forces to support the Afghan people, to normalize the situation in this country and to establish good neighborly relations,” the Russian president insisted.

Afghanistan’s top vice president, Amrullah Saleh, who has declared himself the legitimate president, is preparing a military offensive against Taliban fighters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, calling for negotiations to create a “representative government” and avoid war. “The Taliban do not have control over the entire territory of Afghanistan. Information is coming from the Panjshir Valley, where resistance forces organized by Vice President Saleh and military commander Ahmad Massoud are concentrating,” Sergei Lavrov said.

Ahmad Massoud, the son of former military commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, assassinated in 2001 by the al-Qaeda terrorist network, has called for US military support for an offensive against Taliban insurgents. “America can continue to be a strong support for democracy by helping Mujahideen fighters, who are ready to face the Taliban again,” Ahmad Massoud said.

Afghan Taliban insurgents have occupied many provinces in Afghanistan and areas of the country’s capital, Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani has left Afghanistan and is in the United Arab Emirates. The Afghan Taliban movement has announced an amnesty for all officials in the former Kabul administration and called for the resumption of activities.

Thousands protested in several areas of Afghanistan against the Taliban regime, and in some cities casualties were reported as resistance intensified.

(source: AFP)


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