MOSCOW, July 18 (Sputnik) – Russia could play a positive role in the development of the Afghan settlement by pushing the Taliban to start talks with Kabul, Afghan Ambassador in Russia Abdul Qayum Kuchai said on Wednesday.
“From time to time we hear that the Russian government denies any involvement in financing, supporting, supplying weapons to the Taliban … Russia officially says that it only encourages the Taliban to negotiate with the government. Therefore, we count on Russia to play its positive role in the region and and to push the Taliban to peaceful talks,” the ambassador said at his meeting with Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
The ambassador added that the United States announced on Tuesday its readiness to engage with Russia to work jointly in Afghanistan. “We, Afghans, pray to God that the United States and Russia acted together to bring this bloody war to an end,” the diplomat said, adding that the United States “won’t stay for long” on Afghan soil.
The security situation in Afghanistan has been unstable for years as the government continues to fight Taliban militants for control of the state. Taliban calls for withdrawal of US troops who assist the Afghan government in curbing the insurgency.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, no peace settlement in Afghanistan could proceed without the Taliban’s participation.
Moscow supports diplomatic dialogue with the organization and believes that the US military strategy failed to reduce violence in Afghanistan.
The United States repeatedly accused Russia of supplying arms to Taliban, but Moscow slammed such allegations and said that it contacted Taliban for the purpose of encouraging the militants to negotiate.