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Premature to draw conclusions about new Afghan authorities, dialogue needed — speaker

Matviyenko stated that for now, "we should calmly study, watch, and analyze"

VIENNA, September 8. /TASS/. A working dialogue should be conducted with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia), who have come to power in Afghanistan, but it is still early to draw conclusions about how its new government will work, Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council (the lower house of Russia’s parliament), told reporters on Wednesday.

"It is a fact that the Taliban have full control of Afghanistan and that now they are a new government in Afghanistan, and it cannot be denied," he said in response to a question from TASS.

In Matviyenko’s opinion, "it is still difficult to draw conclusions as to how the government will work, what the statehood will be like, how they will behave inside the country and how they will build international relations."

"How will the government work? We have to see what they are up for, whether they - I place a particular emphasis on it - will abide by civilizational norms and will respect human rights and women’s rights. We will be closely watching what is going on, and based on that, we will draw conclusions and build our relations," she explained.

Matviyenko stated that for now, "we should calmly study, watch, and analyze."

"However, it does not mean that there is no need for dialogue and working contacts," she stressed.

As soon as the United States ended its military operation in Afghanistan and withdrawn its troops from the country, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) mounted an offensive and swept into Kabul, meeting no resistance. On September 6, they claimed full control of Afghanistan’s territory. On September 8, the Taliban formed an interim government, which included only its members. The radicals could not approve the cabinet for two weeks, citing "technical problems."

On February 14, 2003, Russia’s Supreme Court handed down a ruling declaring the Taliban to be a terrorist organization, which is outlawed in Russia.