YEKATERINBURG, September 2. /TASS/. Russia has no intention to propose itself as a mediator at negotiations between the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) and other political forces in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media on Thursday.
"We have long urged the Taliban and other ethnic political groups in Afghanistan to negotiate the creation of an inclusive transitional government," he said. "Currently we have no plans for being a mediator at such talks. To my mind, nobody has such plans, either."
He pointed out that everybody was interested to see the Taliban and other ethnic and political actors in Afghanistan achieve unanimity regarding the messages they send to the Western countries, China and the Central Asian states.
Lavrov remarked that as far as resistance in Panjshir was concerned, a special role belonged to Russia’s allies in Tajikistan.
"In the Panjshir Valley, the Afghan Tajiks are holding talks with the Taliban’s central government. I hope that these talks will eventually produce a negotiated solution, and not be disrupted, and that the threats of a resumption of hostilities will not materialize," he stressed.
The Taliban movement launched a large-scale operation for control of Afghanistan after the United States last spring declared the intention to pull out its forces. On August 15, President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and left the country. The Taliban entered Kabul without encountering resistance. In the meantime, its opponents in Panjshir warned they would fight back. Ahmad Massoud, son of the late powerful field commander Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001) undertook to lead the resistance to the Taliban. Afghanistan’s former vice-president, Amrullah Saleh, who had proclaimed himself as the acting head of state, issued a call to support Massoud.