MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's recognition of the Taliban government in Kabul is not on the agenda, but there is the task of establishing contacts with this force, which has risen to power in Afghanistan, Russia's special presidential envoy for SCO affairs, the Foreign Ministry's special ambassador Bekhtiyer Khakimov told an online conference on Thursday.
"The Taliban was outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization. But the objective reality today as it is, the Taliban movement holds power. A new transitional government has been formed. At this moment, the issue on the agenda is not recognition but the establishment of contacts with those who have risen to power in order to involve them in a constructive dialogue," he said.
Khakimov said that the SCO was prepared to furnish assistance to Afghanistan's economic reconstruction and its further development and participation in regional cooperation.
"Promotion of a pan-Afghan political dialogue and settlement remains the key task. Otherwise, the situation in Afghanistan will remain what it has been for many years — chaos, unrest, lawlessness, and so on," Khakimov explained. "But there is the understanding that the bulk of responsibility for Afghanistan's socio-economic reconstruction must be borne by those counties which had been present there for 20 years and heavily involved not so much in construction and revival as in the country's economic destruction, which is well seen in the humanitarian disaster that we are witnesses to today."
The Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) launched a large-scale operation for establishing control of the country's entire territory after the United States last spring declared the decision to pull out its troops. On August 15, the radicals entered Kabul without encountering any resistance. President Ashraf Ghani left the country. On September 6, the Taliban declared they were in full control of Afghanistan. On September 7, the movement unveiled the composition of a transitional government.