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Top Russian diplomat: Recognition of Taliban not under consideration

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Russia’s top diplomatic official on Saturday said international recognition of the Taliban was not being considered.

“The question of international recognition of the Taliban at the present juncture is not on the table,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to Reuters.

Lavrov made the remarks while speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Reuters noted that Russia is a part of the nine-member U.N. credentials committee that handles competing claims on Afghanistan’s seat at the U.N.

Afghanistan’s current ambassador to the U.N., Ghulam Isaczai, who was appointed under the overthrown, democratically elected government, has requested that his accreditation be renewed. The Taliban recently appointed spokesperson Suhail Shaheen to be Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador.

Reuters noted that when the Taliban held power in Afghanistan during the 90’s, the ambassador appointed under the deposed Afghan government remained in the position when the U.S. credentials committee declined to consider new appointments.

Soon after the Taliban took Kabul in August, Russia expressed optimism on cooperating with the militant group. Russian officials described easy cooperation with the Taliban when it came to security for Russian diplomats in Afghanistan. 

Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said at the time that the Taliban was now the “de-facto” authority in Afghanistan, adding that “there is no alternative to the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

“There was a bad regime which disappeared and people are hopeful. They say it can’t be worse so it should be better. But this is another test for the Taliban to pass. After they restore order, they should start improving the socio-economic situation,” said Zhirnov.

Tags Afghanistan Russia Sergei Lavrov Suhail Shaheen Taliban UN General Assembly
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