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New US envoy for Afghanistan wishes to establish contact with Russia — Lavrov

On October 20, Moscow will see a third round of consultations on Afghanistan, with delegates from ten countries of the region and a high-ranking delegation from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement taking part

SOCHI, October 19. /TASS/. The newly appointed US envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, in a telephone conversation with Russia’s special representative for Afghanistan, director of the Foreign Ministry’s second Asian department Zamir Kabulov expressed the wish to establish contacts the Russian side and visit Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media on Tuesday following a meeting with the participants in the 18th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. 

"The new US envoy for Afghanistan, Mr. West, telephoned our representative Mr. Kabulov. He said he had been appointed literally on the eve of the Moscow format talks and would like to establish contact and visit Russia. We will be glad to see him," Lavrov said.

On October 20, Moscow will see a third round of consultations on Afghanistan, with delegates from ten countries of the region and a high-ranking delegation from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) taking part.

West replaced the US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. In 2012-2015 he was in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the White House’s National Security Council. Joe Biden was then Vice-President. Currently he leads the US administration himself. During the same period West was the US Vice-President’s special advisor for South Asia.