Putin discusses Afghan situation with Iranian, Tajik counterparts

Vladimir Putin speaks to Ebrahim Raeisi, Emomali Rahmon over phone

MOSCOW (AA) – The Russian president on Wednesday discussed over the phone recent developments in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have taken power, with his Iranian and Tajik counterparts, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

In their first conversation since the former Iranian judiciary chief assumed presidential office, Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raeisi expressed readiness to contribute to the Afghan peace settlement.

Taliban overran the Afghan capital Kabul on Aug. 15 after the Western-backed government and resistance from its US- and NATO-trained forces collapsed.

While President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and is now in the UAE; the group has declared that the war in Afghanistan is over, and that efforts to form a government are underway.

While Moscow sees the Taliban’s willingness for an “inclusive” setup as encouraging, Tehran has welcomed the formation of a coordination council (comprising Afghan leaders) to oversee the political transition in Afghanistan.

Putin and Raeisi also discussed prospects of the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, as well as issues related to the next summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Separately, Putin had an “in-depth discussion of developments in Afghanistan” with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

“They underscored the importance of ensuring the safety of civilians and normalizing the situation in the country as quickly as possible in order to maintain stability in the region,” a statement said. “The leaders agreed to continue regular contacts between their countries’ relevant agencies.”

Last month, Rahmon had ordered 20,000 reserve officers to its border with Afghanistan amid heavy clashes between Afghan security personnel and the Taliban.

The two leaders also talked about the preparations for the upcoming Collective Security Treaty Organization, and SCO summits in Dushanbe later this year.


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