29 May 2024 19:02

Taliban welcome Russia's intention to establish bilateral relations

KABUL. May 29 (Interfax) - The Foreign Ministry of the Taliban movement (officially banned in Russia as a terrorist organization), which controls Afghanistan, welcomes Russia's declared intention to build bilateral relations.

"IEA-MoFA [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's, the way the Taliban designate their government] welcomes comments by the leadership of the Russian Federation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials expressing their political determination to broaden relations with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson for the Taliban Foreign Ministry, said in a statement published on the movement's social accounts on Wednesday.

"Following decades of conflict and instability in the country, the past three years have demonstrated that Afghanistan currently has a responsible government that has created an opportune environment for all regional countries to work towards further developing positive relations while taking into consideration bilateral priorities," he said.

"Significant progress has already been made [...] with numerous countries," he said.

The Taliban took control of the entire territory of Afghanistan virtually without a fight in August 2021, after the United States, its allies, and a local government it supported left the country in a hurry after staying there for 20 years.

While not a single country has still recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government, numerous states, including Russia, China, and Iran, maintain some relations with it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the Taliban de facto govern Afghanistan now, and relations with them should be built based on realities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the real situation in Afghanistan governed by the Taliban should be taken into consideration, as that country is of interest to Russia.

The U.S. said it does not plan to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's legal government.