Russia: Weapons left behind by the US can intensify group fighting in Afghanistan

Speaking at the fifth round of Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, attended by Security Council heads from India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, warned that the weapons left behind by the US in Afghanistan can intensify the fight between Afghan groups.

“We are talking about more than 1,000 armoured vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, dozens of planes and helicopters, hundreds of artillery pieces, mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, and hundreds of thousands of heavy and light small arms,” he said.

The weapons, Patrushev said, were worth “tens of billions of dollars” could also end up in black markets, including to terrorist groups and other countries. The US, he said, had created the “foundations for long-term challenges and threats” during its 20 year military involvement in Afghanistan.

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Patrushev also accused the US of conducting “geopolitical experiments” around the word by generating new and rekindling old flashpoints. 

The Iranian Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, told the meeting that Iran’s priority in Afghanistan had been “establishment of security, peace, stability and progress.” 

According to Tasnim News, Shamkhani “stressed the need to strengthen stability and national unity in Afghanistan by paving the way for public participation in politics without ethnic and racial bias and to make serious efforts to contain the terrorist groups.”

The Taliban was not invited to the meeting.