By Ulviye Filiyeva ERKEC
Redacted By Sami BURGAZ
Joint military exercises between Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been ongoing since 15th of July 2021 at the Harb-Maidon training grounds in Tajikistan which is located twenty kilometres from the Afghanistan border.
According to the Central Military District Press Service, 2500 soldiers are taking part in the exercise, which will last until 10th of August.
As attested by Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Central Military District, Lieutenant General Yevgeny Poplavsky, the soldiers will examine the accumulated combat experience, the most appropriate forms of troops deployment, and develop joint approaches in order to conduct mutual military operations.
“There is an increase in armed attack threats in the modern world, the situation is getting more tense and unpredictable,” he said.
More than ten aircraft and helicopters belonging to the Central Military Zone are engaged in the joint exercises between Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at the Harb-Maidon training ground.
The exercises are being conducted against the background of the deteriorating situation in neighbouring Afghanistan in order to resolve the issues of practical interaction and ward off potential threats so to maintain security and stability in the Central Asian region.
In a message of the Eastern Military District Press Service published on 9th of August, it was stated that Russian soldiers opened fire from tanks and armoured vehicles of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army ground forces as they were preparing for joint exercises.
It is important to under that the operational-strategic exercise SIBU / Interaction-2021 will be held in China between August 9-13. The exercise will include over four hundred weapons and military equipment and the participation of approximately thirteen thousand soldiers. The exercises will be conducted jointly under the command of the military units of the two states.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, during a meeting in Tehran on Sunday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Jean Arnault, announced that the Iranian side is ready to facilitate negotiations between the various parties in order to establish peace in Afghanistan.
According to Zarif, one of the most important reasons for the current situation in Afghanistan is “the incorrect policy of foreign powers.”
“The international community should be aware of Tehran’s clear stance that supports a political solution to the crisis in Afghanistan and condemns the violence and its consequences,” Zarif said.
In response, Arnault reiterated the importance of the role of Iran and other regional powers in facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan.
Arnault claimed that “A single country or group of states cannot solve the Afghan problem alone, and only extensive cooperation can reduce the severity of the situation in Afghanistan.”
Jakub Kulganek, Foreign Minister of Czechia stated that; “Czechia should respect the political realities that have emerged in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international coalition troops under the auspices of NATO, and in the future, under certain conditions, the possibility of negotiations with the Taliban movement should not be excluded.” in an interview published on the website of the daily Právo on August 7.
“We will have to accept the real situation in the country and at the same time do everything to clear the atmosphere of Afghanistan, so that country does not pose a future threat to the security of Europe due to terrorism and illegal immigration,” Kulganek said.
According to Kulganek, the instability in Afghanistan will lead to the fact that vast number of Afghans migrants will defect to Europe. The Minister also underlined that Czech President Milos Zeman had previously said that the withdrawal of international coalition troops from Afghanistan was a mistake.
On the other hand, The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) welcomed the exercises of the Armed Forces of Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which began on August 5, at training sites near the border with Afghanistan.
The Spokesperson of the organisation Vladimir Zainetdinov said that if the situation on the borders of Afghanistan transmogrifies sharply, CSTO will take all necessary measures to provide assistance to Tajikistan.
Similarly, the presidents of the Central Asian states expressed their eagerness to supply all the assistance needed to ensure peace in Afghanistan. This was laid out in the joint statement made after the consultation meeting of the heads of states of Central Asia, held in Turkmenistan.
In a statement released by the Press Service of the President of Kazakhstan on August 6, the following comments were put forth on achieving civil peace and harmony in Afghan society, “One of the most significant component in maintaining and strengthening security and stability in Central Asia is the resolution of the circumstance in neighbouring Afghanistan. In this context, the parties are prepared to provide all kinds of assistance as soon as possible.”
According to representatives of the movement, the Taliban managed to establish control over about 85% of the country’s territory, including areas bordering with five states-Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.