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US, NATO should shoulder chief responsibility for Afghanistan's recovery, says Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister also stressed that the UN needed to play a coordinating role in the process

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. NATO members including Washington should bear primary responsibility for the socio-economic recovery of Afghanistan because they are the ones who created the war-ravaged country’s current predicament, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday in a video address to participants in a ministerial meeting of Afghanistan's neighboring countries involving Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

"Clearly, establishing a national system of education and healthcare, as well as creating an effective socio-economic infrastructure in Afghanistan, will require enormous financial efforts. In this regard, I would like to emphasize that those who created the current situation in the country should bear the primary responsibility," Lavrov pointed out. According to him, the time apparently has come "to start mobilization work to collect resources in order to provide financial, economic and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people."

"I hope that the habit of Westerners holding conferences for the sake of conferences has become a thing of the past. The time has come for concrete action on this front," Lavrov noted.

The Russian top diplomat also stressed that the United Nations needed to play a coordinating role in the process. "It was the UN to whom delegates to the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan of October 20, 2021, appealed on the matter," Lavrov added.

Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

After the United States unveiled plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take the country under control. Taliban fighters swept into Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on August 15, without encountering any resistance, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country. On September 7, the Taliban announced an interim government, which has not been recognized by any country yet.