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Lavrov, Blinken discuss situation in Afghanistan after its president’s flight

The conversation was initiated by the US side

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The situation in Afghanistan in light of the actual change of regime in that country was the focus of a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

"The sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan after that country’s head of state fled the country and following the collapse of power bodies and amid the actual change of the regime," the ministry said, adding that the conversation was initiated by the US side.

"Sergey Lavrov informed his US counterpart about Russia’s views on the situation and about the Russian embassy’s contacts with representatives from all key political forces in Afghanistan in the interests of ensuring stability, law and order," the ministry said.

Blinken, in turn, told Lavrov "about the US administration’s actions in the context of the evacuation of the US embassy employees and the resolution of urgent humanitarian tasks stemming from the current situation," it added.

According to the Russian foreign ministry, Lavrov and Blinken agreed to continue consultation involving all concerned sides to promote dialogue in Afghanistan after the change of power in that country, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday after their telephone conversation.

"The two top diplomats agreed to continue consultation involving representatives from China, Pakistan and other concerned countries and the United Nations in a bid to help create conditions for the establishment of an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue in the new environment," the ministry said.

After the United States announced the end of an armed operation in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its troops, the Taliban (a radical movement outlawed in Russia) launched a large-scale offensive on the government army and by August 15 entered Kabul after meeting no resistance. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was resigning to avoid bloodshed and fled the country. Western nations are evacuating their citizens and embassy employees.