MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Asia Free Press): After been beaten in two decades of military operations in Afghanistan, Western nations have handed over their weapons to the Taliban and are now deliberately trying to escalate tensions in the war-torn country, Russia’s Foreign Minister said.
The Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting of foreign ministers, including representatives from Iran, Iraq and China, said severe challenges to keeping peace in Central Asia.
“Unfortunately, the geopolitical orientation of the region isn’t getting any easier,” Russian Television quoted Lavrov as saying.
“We are seeing deliberate attempts to heat the situation and undermine existing multilateral co-operation.”
He mentioned that the US-led NATO bloc has refused to take ownership of its failures in the region and is now set to worsen the refugee crisis by redeploying its troops across Asia. “The international community, especially Afghanistan’s neighbours, need to step up and deal with the problem,” he added.
At the same, Lavrov went on, “the hasty withdrawal of NATO members has further entangled the knot of contradictions in Afghanistan. There are many weapons and large quantities of military equipment left in the country. must not put these to use to create destruction.”
Russia is set to host a meeting with representatives of the Taliban and has also invited diplomats from Beijing next week. While the Islamist militant group is listed as a terrorist organization in Russia and banned, its political envoys have been given dispensation to fly in for talks to calm the troubled region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously warned that the withdrawal of US-led forces and the collapse of the American-backed government earlier this year risks creating a refugee crisis that will spill over into nearby nations.
“Who are these refugees? How can we tell? There may be thousands or even millions,” Putin said. “The border is a thousand kilometers – they will get on everything, a car, even a donkey, and flee across the steppe.” He added that “we do not want fighters disguised as refugees to turn up in our country.”