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(Last Updated On: September 30, 2023)

Participants of regional talks on Afghanistan in Russia’s Kazan have regretted that there has been “no progress” in forming a truly inclusive government in Afghanistan, reflecting the interests of all ethno-political groups of the country.

In a declaration issued by the Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the participants of the fifth Moscow Format meeting said that “despite the appointment of some individual representatives of various Afghan ethnicities to the Kabul administration, the parties observed no political pluralism in it.”

They urged the Afghan authorities to “establish a practical, outcome-oriented dialogue with the representatives of alternative ethno-political groups with a view to completing the process of peaceful settlement and forging a balanced, more broad-based, inclusive, accountable and responsible government in Afghanistan.”

The participants spoke out for respect of fundamental rights and freedoms in Afghanistan, including equal rights to work, education and justice, without distinction as to gender, ethnicity or religion. Stressed upon their concern about imposed restrictions on women’s employment and girls’ education. They urged the current Afghan authorities to promote the modern education in the schools conforming to international standards.

The parties noted with concern the difficult security situation in Afghanistan due to the intensification of the activities of terrorist groups, primarily Daesh. They appreciated the current Afghan authorities for their serious fight against Daesh and urged them to do the same against all terrorist groups. They called on the current Afghan authorities to take effective measures to dismantle, eliminate and prevent placement of all sorts of terrorist groups based in Afghanistan and to prevent the country from being the terrorism and instability hotspot and spreading to the regional states.

Participants of the meeting noted the reports on the reduction in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan caused by successful steps of the current Afghan authorities. They stressed the importance of continuing real and its effective anti-drug policy, including against industrial drug production, which indicate a serious and dangerous increase.

The parties noted the proposal of Iran to strengthen regional cooperation on Afghanistan by establishing a regional contact group to discuss the issues of common interests.

On September 29, 2023, the fifth meeting of the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan at the level of special representatives and senior officials from China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan was held. The meeting was also attended by acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Representatives of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Türkiye were in attendance as guests of honor.