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Tajik president calls for creating security belt around Afghanistan

Emomali Rakhmon pointed to the risks of further armed escalation in neighboring Afghanistan

DUSHANBE, September 17. /TASS/. Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon has called on the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to create a reliable security belt around Afghanistan in view of the risks of catastrophic developments in that country.

"I strongly call on all partners to create a reliable security belt around Afghanistan to stop the possible expansion of terrorist groups in the SCO and CSTO region. The current developments and the high risks of a catastrophic scenario confirm the necessity of helping countries bordering Afghanistan. Because the entire burden of negative impacts following the withdrawal of the international coalition will be placed on Afghanistan’s neighboring countries," he said at a meeting of the SCO and CSTO leaders in Dushanbe.

"Contrary to their statements, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) are following the path of creating an Islamic emirate with rules that are foreign to the modern era and the government they formed consists of their members only," Rakhmon stressed. "The rapidly developing situation in Afghanistan has become a key challenge to the security of our region."

According to the Tajik leader, Afghanistan is on the edge of a humanitarian catastrophe. "According to the United Nations World Food Program, more than 90% of Afghanistan’s population is on the brink of starvation. That is why, our countries should be more cautious in their approaches to the situation in Afghanistan, as it is no longer a regional but a global problem," he said.

He pointed to the risks of further armed escalation in neighboring Afghanistan. "Obviously, a violent coup in Afghanistan cannot guarantee peace and stability in that country, which some countries expect. Afghanistan may face a further escalation of the domestic armed conflict and confrontation between various groups and ethnic and political forces, which may entail a long-lasting civil conflict. That is why, bearing in mind that most of the SCO and CSTO member states are Afghanistan’s neighbors, challenges and threats coming from its territory will be high on the agenda of our multilateral structures," he stressed.