Russia says Taliban ready for 'compromise'

Published July 20, 2021
In recent years, Russia has sought to reach out to the Taliban and has hosted Taliban representatives in Moscow several times, most recently in July. — Reuters/File
In recent years, Russia has sought to reach out to the Taliban and has hosted Taliban representatives in Moscow several times, most recently in July. — Reuters/File

Russia said on Tuesday that the Taliban were prepared for political “compromise”, even as the insurgents launch offensives against government troops to secure greater swathes of Afghanistan while US troops draw down.

The Taliban have capitalised on the withdrawal of foreign troops to capture scores of districts, border crossings, and encircle provincial capitals.

Rounds of inconclusive talks appear to have lost momentum as the militants make battlefield gains.

But the Kremlin's envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said during a conference with former Afghan leader Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that the insurgents were prepared to consider political offers put forward by other parties to negotiations.

“Over the past 20 or so years, the bulk of the (Taliban) leadership has certainly become fed up with war and understand that there is a need to search for political solutions to the current deadlock,” Kabulov said.

He added that based on the statements and actions of the insurgent group, it had shown it was “ready for a political compromise”.

“But it's clear that from their viewpoint a political compromise should be decently presented to them,” Kabulov added.

His comments came after another round of inconclusive talks in Qatar over the weekend between the Afghan government and the Taliban that many hoped would kickstart the ailing peace process.

Moscow is closely watching the conflict unfold.

Soviet Union troops occupied Afghanistan in 1979, and the 10-year conflict claimed the lives of more than 14,000 Soviet troops.

In recent years, Russia has sought to reach out to the Taliban and has hosted Taliban representatives in Moscow several times, most recently in July.

Moscow is also watching for a potential spill over of the instability into neighbouring ex-Soviet Central Asian countries where Russia maintains military bases.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Russia is concerned the instability could spur terror threats and proliferate drug trafficking.

Next month Russia is taking part in joint military drills in Tajikistan, which has called up thousands of reservists to help secure its shared border with Afghanistan.

Opinion

Editorial

More pledges
Updated 25 May, 2024

More pledges

There needs to be continuity in economic policies, while development must be focused on bringing prosperity to the masses.
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...
IMF’s unease
Updated 24 May, 2024

IMF’s unease

It is clear that the next phase of economic stabilisation will be very tough for most of the population.
Belated recognition
24 May, 2024

Belated recognition

WITH Wednesday’s announcement by three European states that they intend to recognise Palestine as a state later...
App for GBV survivors
24 May, 2024

App for GBV survivors

GENDER-based violence is caught between two worlds: one sees it as a crime, the other as ‘convention’. The ...