11 Mar 2020 09:44

UNSC resolution supporting U.S.-Taliban deal opens 'window of opportunity' - Nebenzya

NEW YORK. March 11 (Interfax) - The UN Security Council resolution supporting the deal between the United States and the Taliban movement (banned in Russia) opens "a window of opportunity" for reconciliation in Afghanistan, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said.

"Russia voted in support of UNSC resolution on Afghanistan that opens a 'window of opportunity' for achieving broad national reconciliation in this country," Nebenzya said after the resolution was unanimously adopted by UN Security Council members.

"We understand that the path to that peace will be a rocky one. It will ask for both consolidation of efforts of Afghanis and assistance of regional and international partners," Nebenzya said.

"All forces must be directed at facilitating the launch of inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue with participation of all public and political forces of the country. We expect that parties will be represented by delegations that will be authorized to make deals and do the decision-making on a wide range of problems that have accumulated," he said.

"We call upon all political forces in Afghanistan to cast aside all contradictions, narrow-specific interests and political ambitions," Nebenzya said.

"Synchronized reconsideration of UNSC sanctions decisions regarding the Taliban movement and of relevant national measures is one of the necessary prerequisites for long-term stabilization in Afghanistan," he said.

Earlier, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution backing the February 29 deal between the United States and the Taliban movement (banned in Russia).

The U.S.-Taliban deal stipulates the pullout of U.S. and other foreign forces from Afghanistan, a prisoner swap between the Taliban and the government, and the launch of intra-Afghan peace talks.

"The Security Council welcomed the significant steps taken towards ending the war in Afghanistan and opening the door to intra-Afghan negotiations enabled by the recent peace agreement signed by the United States and the Taliban," the resolution seen by Interfax said.

"The 15-member Council called upon the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to pursue additional confidence-building measures - including by reducing violence and releasing prisoners - in good faith, thereby creating the conditions for a swift start to intra-Afghan negotiations leading to a durable peace," the resolution said.

"It went on to call upon all States to provide their full support to promoting the successful negotiation of a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement that ends the war for the benefit of all Afghans and contributes to regional stability and global security," it said.

"In addition, the Council expressed its readiness - upon the start of intra-Afghan negotiations - to review the status of individuals and groups designated in the sanctions established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011)," the resolution said.

Resolution 1988 (2011) regarding the Taliban movement imposed sanctions on individuals, legal entities, enterprises and groups associated with the movement.

Resolution 2513, which was authored by the United States, was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on Tuesday.