UNITED NATIONS, September 25. /TASS/. Moscow will continue to urge the Taliban (banned in Russia), who have come to power in Afghanistan, to behave in a civilized manner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday at a news conference upon his visit to New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
"We will encourage those who have now taken power in Kabul after the retreat of foreign contingents to behave in a civilized manner," he said.
According to the minister, when comparing the Taliban to other terrorist groups, one should not divide them into bad and good, but sanctions were slapped on the Taliban with multiple exceptions.
"It was primarily done so that we can have a dialogue with them, which means that the UN Security Council recognizes the Taliban as an integral part of Afghan society, which neither Jabhat al-Nusra nor Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (both banned in Russia) are for Syria. That is the difference," Lavrov stressed.
In contact with the Taliban
Moscow remains in contact with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) on the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a Saturday press conference devoted to the outcome of his visit to New York for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
"The first step that was taken [by the Taliban], the formation of an interim government body, certainly does not reflect the entire spectrum of Afghan society in terms of ethnic and political groups," he pointed out. "Our representatives - I mean, representatives of Russia, China and Pakistan - have just visited Doha and Kabul, holding consultations with the Taliban and secular authorities," Lavrov noted. "They particularly discussed the need to ensure the formation of a truly representative government body," the Russian top diplomat said.
Lavrov pointed to the consequences of the hasty withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, adding that a large amount of weapons had been left in the country. "Perhaps, we all should try to make sure that these weapons are not used for destructive purposes," the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov emphasized that the top priority was to prevent extremism from spilling over into Afghanistan's neighboring countries and curb terrorist threats in Afghanistan. "The Taliban have expressed determination to combat the IS (the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia - TASS) and other terrorist group, we will fully support their determination and will also try to make sure that it is translated into practical steps," he added.
The United Nations Security Council has not considered the issue of softening or lifting sanctions on the Taliban, Lavrov said.
"I have not yet heard of anyone in the UN Security Council calling for the need to talk about relaxing or lifting international sanctions [on the Taliban] at one of the upcoming sessions," Lavrov said.