Six-nation consultations on Afghanistan may further include Central Asia countries

BISHKEK (TCA) — On February 15 Moscow hosted consultations on Afghanistan with the participation of senior officials from six nations — Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran, and India. The meeting participants agreed to increase efforts to assist in the promotion of intra-Afghan reconciliation with official Kabul playing the leading role and integration of the armed opposition into peaceful life, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after the meeting.      

The ministry added that the meeting had also come to an understanding of the possibility of future expansion of the six-nation format of the consultations by including other countries, first of all from Central Asia.  

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that the consultative meeting on Afghanistan in Moscow was a positive step in promoting regional cooperation and solidarity in the war against terrorism, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews agency reported on February 15.

Moscow has hosted at least two meetings on Afghanistan in less than two months in a bid to bring the much-awaited Afghan peace negotiation process between the government and the Taliban group back on track.

Speaking on the impact of such talks on core issues facing the wider region, particularly Afghanistan, Faramarz Tamanna, chairman of the Afghanistan Center for Strategic Thinking at the MoFA, said that holding such meetings would be helpful in boosting regional cooperation in the campaign against terrorism.

“We should try to create a common understanding between the regional countries in order to attain the partnership of all regional countries in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” said Faramarz Tamanna.

Political commentators believe that Russia’s interests in Afghanistan’s political situation and the thaw in ties between Russians and the Taliban would further complicate the war in Afghanistan.

It appears however that Kabul is no longer concerned about the thaw in relations between the Taliban and Moscow and a possible rivalry between Russia and the United States in Afghanistan following a trip to Moscow by Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani to Moscow earlier this month.
Last week General John Nicholson, the commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan said the increasing influence of Russia in Afghanistan would impact Afghan government’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and Kabul’s bid in restoring longstanding peace and security.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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