Reuters OMAR SOBHANI
Under the above heading, Igor Sobotin wrote, in “Nizavismaya Gazeta”, about Russia’s restoration of its role in the Afghan settlement, in exchange for a role for Turkey that Washington wants.
The article stated: Russia is preparing to hold a meeting on Afghanistan on March 18 in Moscow according to an expanded format, with the participation of representatives of Russia, the United States, China, Pakistan, and the parties to the armed conflict, including representatives of the Taliban movement, banned in Russia. The meeting should take place a week before the planned peace conference on Afghanistan in Turkey, which calls for talk of competition between international negotiating platforms.
According to Afghan Tolo News, Istanbul may host talks on March 27th. Perhaps choosing Turkey as a platform stems from the recent initiatives of US President Joseph Biden’s administration. The American media recently revealed the contents of a letter sent by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to (Afghan President Ashraf) Ghani, in which he proposed holding an expanded conference on the Afghan peace settlement under the auspices of the United Nations. The US secretary pointed to Turkey as the preferred area for negotiations.
According to the director of the Center for Military Policy Analysis at the Hudson Institute, Richard Waitz, Moscow has restored its Soviet-era contacts with the Tajik, Uzbek and Turkmen ethnic minorities in northern Afghanistan, which could serve as a buffer zone for neighboring Central Asian countries. “Since around 2015, the Russian government has maintained formal relations with the Taliban,” Weitz said. “These contacts serve the immediate purpose of strengthening Russian influence, while at the same time providing hedging against the risks of a Taliban victory after NATO’s withdrawal.” According to him, the Taliban and Russia share the same mission, which is to prove that they have diplomatic alternatives and that they are seeking the withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Afghanistan.
“At the moment, the next conference will look like a continuation of this campaign. This may open up areas for cooperation with the United States in the future, but Moscow’s influence in the region appears to be as limited as the influence of others,” Weitz added. It will remain an illusion. “
The article expresses only the opinion of the newspaper or writer