‘Afghanistan calls for UN Security Council meeting’: Top Russian diplomat

Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan says Russia not considering evacuation of its embassy in Kabul

MOSCOW (AA) – The Russian foreign minister said on Friday the Afghan government requested to summon a meeting of the UN Security Council over the deteriorating situation in the country where the Taliban made significant military advancements.

Speaking at a news conference in the Rostov Oblast region, Sergey Lavrov said such a meeting would be helpful if used to launch constructive talks between the Afghan sides.

The minister negatively assessed the Taliban movement forward, saying it slows down the Afghan peace process, supported by all major powers.

He added that Moscow is not satisfied with the recent developments in Afghanistan and calls for expanding the group of international mediators, including Iran and India in the first turn.

Russia’s primary concern over the current situation in Afghanistan is that the hostilities can overflow to the territory of its Central Asian allies, Lavrov stressed.

“Amid the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Moscow calls on all sides to resume the peace talks,” he said.

Russia not evacuating its embassy in Kabul despite escalation

In a separate statement, Russia’s presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said Moscow is not considering a possibility of evacuating its embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The Taliban have no possibilities of taking Kabul “in the foreseeable future,” Kabulov told reporters in Moscow.

The current situation is a result of delaying peace talks by the Afghan government, Kabulov noted, urging it to engage in contacts with the Taliban immediately.

Commenting on the Taliban’s capturing second- and third-largest Afghan cities Kandahar and Herat, Kabulov said the settlements were taken “not as a result of fighting and courageous resistance of the Afghan troops, but as a result of their escape.”

He also confirmed that the Afghan government wants to purchase military helicopters from Russia, the request is being examined, he said.

Making rapid gains over the past few days, the Taliban have now taken control of 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.

Following days of heavy clashes, the insurgents captured Afghanistan’s second- and third-largest cities Kandahar and Herat on Thursday and had advanced on three more provincial capitals by early Friday.


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