Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

CSTO Foreign Ministers concerned over security situation in Afghanistan

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have in a recent joint statement expressed concerns over the security situation in Afghanistan, calling for strict counter-terrorism measures against terrorist groups.

These Foreign Ministers adopted the statement Tuesday in a meeting in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, which the CSTO top military alliance attended. Moscow-led CSTO includes the states of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The CSTO states reaffirmed their continued support for the people of Afghanistan and called on the Taliban authorities to engage in a “meaningful dialogue” with all ethnic groups to form an inclusive, united, and peaceful state.

The statement stressed the preservation and respect of human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, and called for the prevention of forced displacement of different ethnic groups across the country.

The statement said that the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan is concerning and stressed to prevent the increasing activities of Islamic State – Khorasan Province and deployment of military infrastructure facilities in third countries.

“We call on the current authorities of Afghanistan to step up counter-terrorism measures, eradicate terrorism in the country, and prevent it from becoming a hotbed of international terrorism.” Part of the statement reads.

In doing so, the States reiterated their readiness to provide consolidated assistance in combating the threats to regional security emanating from Afghanistan, including in terms of maintaining peace and stability on the southern borders as well as the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border. 

CSTO Foreign Ministers also expressed concern about the growth of drug trafficking and urged the Taliban leadership to “fulfill its obligations to eradicate drug production and drug crime.”

The state members of the CSTO noted the importance of implementing an initiative to create a “security belt” around Afghanistan in a bid to thwart potential security risks at the border lines.