Russia sends invitation to Taliban to attend forum


(MENAFN) In a significant development, the Taliban has been extended an invitation to participate in an upcoming economic forum in Russia, as confirmed by Zamir Kabulov, Moscow's special presidential envoy on Afghanistan. According to Kabulov, Taliban representatives are slated to attend the 15th international 'Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum,' scheduled to take place from May 14 to 19 in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan. This forum serves as a key platform for fostering economic cooperation between Moscow and countries within the Islamic world.

While Kabulov did not divulge specific details regarding the Taliban's participation, he emphasized that Russia maintains regular cooperation with the Taliban government in Afghanistan, particularly in efforts aimed at countering international terrorism. This invitation to the Kazan forum is not unprecedented, as the Taliban has been invited to previous iterations of the event. However, Kabulov clarified last year that the Taliban's involvement in such forums does not equate to formal recognition by Moscow.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has disclosed to TASS that discussions are underway regarding the possibility of withdrawing the 'terrorist organization' designation from the Taliban. However, any final decision on this matter will be made by the country's highest leadership. Despite not extending formal recognition to the Taliban government, which assumed power in Kabul in 2021 amid the withdrawal of United States troops, Russia has been among the early actors to establish contacts and negotiate business agreements with the new Afghan administration.

It's worth noting that the Taliban government remains unrecognized by any country officially, underscoring the complexity of international relations surrounding Afghanistan's political landscape. Russia's engagement with the Taliban reflects its strategic interests in the region and its efforts to exert influence in post-conflict Afghanistan. As discussions continue regarding the Taliban's status and participation in international forums, the implications of Russia's diplomatic maneuvers in Afghanistan merit close scrutiny amidst evolving geopolitical dynamics in the region.

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