Russia criticizes Afghanistan president for accusations of supporting Taliban

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KABUL (TCA) — The Foreign Ministry of Russia has sharply criticized Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani over his recent comment in which he said that Moscow is backing the Taliban.

“We have taken note of reports in some Afghan media of statements regarding Russia’s ‘support’ for the Taliban movement by President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai during his recent trip to Paktia Province,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 23. “We consider unacceptable such statements by the head of state of friendly Afghanistan. We recall that Afghan officials have confirmed at different levels that such accusations against Moscow are groundless.”

The ministry said that Moscow is rendering multiple forms of assistance to Kabul, including help in consolidating the combat capabilities of its national security forces, and is actively facilitating inter-Afghan dialogue with a view to establishing peace and stability in that country as soon as possible.

The ministry urged Afghan leaders not to follow along with the “anti-Russian hysteria fanned by some Western media”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement comes after Ghani said following the deadly attack on the Paktia police headquarters last week that the Taliban was being backed by a country that has in the past killed 1.5 million Afghans, TOLOnews reported.

Ghani did not name Russia, but it is widely believed that 1.5 million Afghans were killed by the Soviet Union.

A number of Afghan political analysts meanwhile said the Afghan government needs to have proof of foreign interference in Afghanistan’s affairs and then resolve the issue through diplomatic channels.

“It is better for Afghan officials that instead of accusing Russia or other neighboring countries, they hold discussions with them,” a political affairs analyst, Ali Akbar Jamshidi, said.

The Russian defense ministry confirmed two months ago it had been in contact with the Taliban but said this had been aimed at preventing Daesh from gaining a foothold in Central Asia.

The Taliban, however, has rejected receiving any support from Russia.

Sergey Kwan

TCA