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Lavrov on Taliban: 'It's hard to imagine Afghan conflict could be resolved without them'

May 10, 2017, 21:41 UTC+3
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WASHINGTON, May 10. /TASS/. Russia is not supplying weapons to the Taliban movement, however, Moscow seeks to implement the decision taken by the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in Washington.

"Give me at least one fact. Those who have been seriously tackling the Afghan issue understand very well what is going on there, so no serious analyst, who is not seeking cheap popularity, will not say that we are supplying weapons to the Taliban," the Russian top diplomat said.

"We are working with the Taliban in order to implement the United Nations Security Council’s decision taken at the Afghan government’s request, which says that the Taliban should join the political process provided they recognize the current constitution of Afghanistan, renounce the use of violence and sever their ties with terrorists," Lavrov added.

According to the Russian foreign minister, "the Afghan government is ready to negotiate with them on this basis." Lavrov pointed out that the Taliban were part of the Afghan people and "it is hard to imagine" that this conflict could be resolved without them, "particularly taking into account the devastation that NATO troops left behind who turned out to be unable to solve any issue facing the country and exacerbated the terrorist threat by allowing the Islamic State (a terror group outlawed in Russia) to enter Afghanistan," the Russian top diplomat added.

He also said that during NATO’s ten-year presence in Afghanistan, the drug production grew "more than 10 times."

Commander of the US Forces in Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti earlier accused Moscow of supporting the Afghan Taliban.

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