Russian Envoy suggests a regional “G5” on Afghanistan

The Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, has suggested the formation of a regional “G5” to address the current issues in Afghanistan. In an interview with THE WEEK magazine, Kabulov emphasized that “this group can be an opportunity to reach a regional consensus.”

He proposed the creation of a core format, similar to the G5, with India, Pakistan, Iran, China, and Russia, which he believes can not only build regional consensus but also take action to implement it.

Kabulov expressed concerns about security, the socio-economic situation, terrorism, and drugs in Afghanistan, stating that “We care about ordinary Afghans as they suffer the most.” Although he emphasised that they try not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, he expressed disappointment in the way the Taliban is handling the situation, stating that “The Taliban has not learned how to run a government.”

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He further added that the Taliban’s ban on women’s education and work is “senseless” and expressed his desire to talk to the Taliban leadership to share their dismay and disappointment.

When asked about the possibility of failure to change the Taliban’s behavior, the Russian diplomat responded that “There is diplomacy and a way of persuading. If the Taliban does not buy it, there are stronger elements to persuade them.”

Kabulov said that the Taliban should take institutional steps to improve the situation and open a way for such improvement, which he cannot see at the moment.