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National accord govt not formed by Taliban due to delay in US troops withdrawal — Lavrov

The Taliban considered themselves free from this commitment, the Russian foreign minister noted

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) considered themselves free from the commitment to form a government of national accord due to the delay in the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"According to some American political analysts, the situation developed this way because Washington had failed to meet the agreed timeframes for the troop withdrawal. The Taliban considered themselves free from the commitment to form a government of national accord," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

According to Lavrov, Moscow understood that the situation in Afghanistan "was developing toward this or that outcome over the years when the Americans were trying to promote agreements among the Afghanis."

"I would say it was done quite clumsily. I make no secret of my opinion," he added.

The minister noted that the last diplomatic victory, as it was pictured by the previous US administration, was an agreement reached in Doha with the Taliban movement without the participation of Afghanistan’s former President Ashraf Ghani. "On the one hand, it gave hope that the Taliban accepted agreements. On the other hand, there was a lot of skepticism because the Taliban agreed to establish some general state power structures in exchange for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops by a certain date, by May 1, 2021," he went on to say.

"Former President Ghani was categorically dissatisfied with this because he understood that if this agreement was implemented, he would have to share power. He would have unlikely remained the first person in a new Afghan government under any scenario. That is why he spared no effort to halt the process. As a result, the Americans stayed longer than agreed," Lavrov said.

Situation in Afghanistan

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire country and announced a new interim government the following day. However, this government has not been officially recognized by any of the world nations.