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Ex-President Ghani received invitation to SCO summit, but situation changed, Lavrov says

Russia's top diplomat explained that Ashraf Ghani had recieved an invitation before fleeing the country and deciding to step down to prevent bloodshed in Kabul

DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani received an invitation to take part in the SCO summit in Dushanbe, but the situation has changed because of the developments in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday.

"Afghanistan is an observer in the SCO. Observers are always invited to the organization’s summits, and that was the case this time. Former President Ghani received a timely invitation to the summit, which will be held here tomorrow, and all of us proceeded from that premise. The situation has changed due to what happened in Afghanistan, when President Ghani fled the country deciding to step down to prevent any bloodshed, as he explained," he said.

After the US announced the end of its operation in Afghanistan and the beginning of its troop withdrawal, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) launched an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban militants swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, establishing full control over the country’s capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire Afghan territory, and on September 7, they announced that an interim government had been formed.