Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Meeting on Afghanistan
Above all, let me express our deepest condolences to our friend from Ethiopia on the plane crash of Ethiopian Airlines and the tragic death of people from different countries, including from the UN system.
We thank UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UNAMA Tadamichi Yamamoto for the analysis of current developments in Afghanistan. We have been interested to listen to the statement by National Security Adviser of Afghanistan H.Mohib, and to the statement by Ms. S.Tapesh. We share many of the assessments contained in the Secretary-General’s quarterly report.
For our part, we would like to point out the following. We watch the tense situation in Afghanistan with concern. To our regret, there are still many casualties among the civilians, above all among women and children, as Secretary-General highlighted in his report.
We have profound concerns about the remaining presence of ISIS in Afghanistan. Despite separate efforts of Afghan law enforcement, the militants continuously strengthen their position and influence in the country and replenish their ranks, i.a. at the cost of rotating foreign terrorist fighters, who have combatted in Syria and Iraq under the banners of ISIS. We see that ISIS terrorist group has not abandoned its expansionist ambitions. It poses a real threat to the security of our Central Asian friends and of Russia’s Southern regions.
We cannot but be concerned about regular and large terrorist attacks in various cities of Afghanistan, including Kabul, whereby i.a. suicide bombers were active. Their victims turn out to be peaceful citizens, among them women and children. Afghan military as well as law enforcement officers, die at the hands of terrorists, reports of such cases become increasingly frequent. Today we pay tribute to their courage.
Our standing attention focuses on the situation in the area of combatting drug trafficking in Afghanistan. The drug threat remains a serious problem for the region, the world, and the country itself. “Drug dollars” ensure financial recharge for terrorism. We believe it is vital to continue and intensify international efforts in combatting this evil.
We remain committed to our obligations to assist collective counteraction to this threat, including with active participation of the UN Office on Drug and Crime. Our practical steps, i.a. on SCO and CSTO tracks, also correspond to this approach. We will continue our contributions to the training of drug police from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asian Countries.
Russia comprehensively supports the desire of the Afghan people for sustained peace. Our countries have been historically bound by friendly relations that correspond to the national interests of the two countries.
We assign special importance to the peace process under the lead of the Afghan people. We have genuine interest in soonest promotion of national reconciliation and follow-up stabilization in the country. We reiterate our readiness to fully support this process. This is the goal that we are guided by when implementing our own efforts on this track. Within this logic, Russia initiated and convened the second meeting of the Moscow format on Afghanistan on November 9, 2018, where a maximum number of interested stakeholders took part.
We fully support the inclusiveness of the upcoming peace process in Afghanistan; we believe all the political and public actors of the country should become part of it, including the opposition. Here is a clear illustration of the internationally approved concept of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned dialogue” on the settlement of the conflict in the country: on February 5-6 in Moscow the Afghan diasporas organized an inter-Afghan Meeting of leading political parties of the IRA and members of the Taliban movement.
We take notice of the growing global understanding of the regional context of the Afghanistan settlement and the necessity to utilize the potential of the credible mechanisms, above all of the SCO. We specifically highlight the mechanism of the renewed contact group “SCO-Afghanistan.” We believe there is positive potential in stepping up Afghan interaction with the CSTO.
We are convinced that all the peaceful initiatives and negotiation efforts should aspire to unite the entire country and all the Afghans without any exception. Historical experience demonstrates that agreements can be sustainable only if they base on a shared multilateral ground. Herein lies the key to the achievement of our shared goal in Afghanistan – true peace and transition of the IRA to an independent, self-sustaining and thriving State, the territory of which will produces no terrorist threats.