Afghan Deputy PM Requests Official Membership in Moscow Format During Meeting with Russian Envoy

Afghan PM's deputy requests Afghanistan's membership in Moscow Format, seeks UN seat and unfreezing of assets, as Russia expresses interest in investing in the country.

Shivani Chauhan
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Afghan Deputy PM Requests Official Membership in Moscow Format During Meeting with Russian Envoy

Afghan Deputy PM Requests Official Membership in Moscow Format During Meeting with Russian Envoy

Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, the political deputy of Afghanistan's prime minister, met with Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special representative for Afghanistan, in Kabul and requested that Afghanistan be granted official membership in the Moscow Format. The Moscow Format is a multilateral platform for discussions on the situation in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, Kabir advocated for the Taliban to be granted Afghanistan's representative seat at the United Nations and opposed the appointment of a UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan. Kabulov emphasized Russia's desire to continue its relations with Kabul and for Afghanistan's UN seat to be assigned to the Islamic Emirate. The Russian envoy also stated that Russian investors are interested in investing in Afghanistan. "The need for the immediate and unconditional unfreezing of Afghanistan's national assets and their transfer to the Central Bank of Afghanistan, as well as the lifting of all illegitimate unilateral sanctions against the state, were emphasized," according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Why this matters: The meeting between Afghan and Russian officials highlights the ongoing diplomatic efforts to address the political and economic situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover. The request for Afghanistan's inclusion in the Moscow Format and the discussions on UN representation and sanctions underscore the complex international dynamics surrounding the country's future.

The meeting was also attended by Russia's ambassador to Kabul and other Afghan officials, including Foreign Minister Amir Muttaqi and Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani. The discussions focused on bilateral relations, regional political and security issues, and the further development of cooperation between Russia and Afghanistan. Kabulov has visited Kabul several times previously, with issues like counterterrorism, the economy, and the nature of Kabul-Moscow relations being the focus of these visits.

Analysts provided differing perspectives on the meetings, with one stating that such engagements benefit both sides and can lead to real discussions and problem-solving, while another suggested the visits are for intelligence-gathering purposes. The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized the need for the immediate 'unfreezing' of Afghanistan's national assets and the lifting of sanctions against the country, highlighting the responsibility of the United States and its allies for the negative consequences of their 20-year presence in Afghanistan.

Key Takeaways

  • Afghan PM's deputy requested Afghanistan's membership in Moscow Format talks.
  • Taliban sought Afghanistan's UN seat, opposed UN special envoy appointment.
  • Russia expressed interest in investing in Afghanistan, called for unfreezing assets.
  • Meeting focused on bilateral relations, regional issues, and Russia-Afghanistan cooperation.
  • Analysts differed on the purpose of the meetings, with one seeing potential for problem-solving.