Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will not meet with the Taliban delegation invited as “guests” to the Moscow Format meeting in Kazan, confirmed Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan.
Kabulov’s comments came during an interview with the RTVI media outlet in response to a question about the potential for Lavrov to meet with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign Minister of the Taliban, at the event.
“No, Sergei Lavrov will not meet with Muttaqi and receive the Taliban. The Taliban have been invited to a meeting of the Moscow format,” Kabulov stated.
“And it was not Sergei Viktorovich who invited them, but me, as the president’s special representative. The Minister bears no obligations to the guests I invite. I want to emphasize: the Taliban are not participants but rather guests of the Moscow-format meeting,” He said, “There is a fundamental difference between the two.”
Political analysts have observed that regional countries are still dealing with challenges posed by the Taliban. They are expressing dissatisfaction with the group’s perceived failure to take responsibility for establishing an inclusive government, protecting human and women’s rights, and addressing the issue of narcotics.
Meanwhile, the participation of the Taliban delegation in the meeting has sparked reactions from women’s activists within the country. They contend that the Taliban’s “widespread human rights violations” render any efforts to normalize relations inappropriate.
The Moscow Format includes ten countries, including Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which do not share a border with Afghanistan.
According to the Russian representative, representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey attended as observers in the Moscow Format meeting.
Forming a comprehensive government in Afghanistan was one of the topics discussed in today’s meeting.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Foreign Minister of the Taliban, participated in the Moscow Format meeting.