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Kremlin accredits first Taliban-appointed Afghan diplomat

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MOSCOW: The first Afghan diplomat appointed by Taliban government started work in Moscow last month, Russia’s top diplomat has said.

Lavrov was speaking in China where foreign ministers of many countries have gathered at a summit to discuss Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis. 

That meeting was chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and attended by Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, and diplomats from Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, and Qatar.

Taliban’s diplomat became an official representative after being accredited by Moscow, the RIA news agency said on Thursday, citing Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Moscow also considers it “unacceptable” for any US or NATO military presence in countries bordering Afghanistan, TASS news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

Lavrov also said Moscow is concerned over the Daesh terror group’s plans to destabilise Central Asia and spread instability to Russia.

‘Extended Troika’ meeting

Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese FM Wang met individually with his counterparts from Russia, Pakistan and Qatar, according to Chinese state media. 

Video showed Wang and Russia’s Lavrov bumping elbows in a pandemic-era handshake, but no details were given.

Special envoys for Afghanistan from China, the United States, Russia, and Pakistan, a group known as the “Extended Troika,” are convening separately from the foreign ministers of other countries.

“China, the US, Russia and Pakistan are all countries with significant influence on the Afghan issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said of the Troika meeting. 

The talks will “echo positively with the third meeting of foreign ministers of the Afghan neighboring countries, to further cement the consensus of all parties … to help Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and development at an early date.”

Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West will represent the US at the “Extended Troika” talks, the State Department said. China is believed to have also invited Taliban representatives.

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