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Kabul should start substantive talks with Taliban, says Russian envoy

"However, it is one thing to come to an agreement and another thing to implement it," Zamir Kabulov noted

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Kabul’s delay in launching peace talks with the Taliban militant group (outlawed in Russia) has worsened the situation in Afghanistan, Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asian Department at Russia’s Foreign Ministry Zamir Kabulov told TASS on Friday.

The Russian diplomat was upbeat about his contacts with representatives of the Taliban’s Qatari political office in Doha on August 12.

"However, it is one thing to come to an agreement and another thing to implement it. This depends not only on the Taliban but also on the current Kabul government, which should finally come to its senses and start substantive talks. They have delayed it to the point that this situation has emerged," the envoy said.

A series of meetings on the Afghan settlement was held in Doha on Thursday. The participants discussed the prospects for a peaceful settlement amid the worsening situation in Afghanistan triggered by fighting between the government troops and the Taliban.

The Afghan delegation was led by Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah. The Doha meeting was also attended by special representatives of Russia, the United States, China, and Pakistan.

Situation in Afghanistan

Clashes between the Afghan government troops and the Taliban radical militant group intensified after US President Joe Biden announced a decision on April 14 to wrap up the Afghanistan operation, which had been the longest overseas military campaign in US history.

Against this background, the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated radically as the Taliban has been stepping up the pace of its offensive in several directions. According to the data from various open sources and the claims by the Taliban itself, the radical militant group controls from 60% to 85% of the country’s territory, including the areas along the border with five countries: Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.