Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Meeting on Afghanistan
We thank SRSG and Head of UNAMA Tadamichi Yamamoto, USG and Director of UNODC Yuri Fedotov, as well as Chair of the 1988 Security Council Sanctions Committee Dian Djani for their in-depth analysis of the state of affairs in Afghanistan.
UNAMA plays an important role in coordinating international assistance to Afghanistan.
What raises concern is the situation in the area of security in the country. Despite the efforts of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), atrocious acts of terror continue to disturb the country. Civil population falls prey to those barbarous attacks, women and children in the first place, as well as the military and police officers. We pay tribute to their courage.
Another factor that adds to degradation of the situation is ISIL in Afghanistan. Militants retain their influence in the country by replenishing their ranks i.a. thanks to foreign terrorist fighters who have received combat experience in Syria and Iraq; and also by means of creating so called “sleeper cells”.
As Y.Fedotov justly said today, terrorist threat is closely related to the drug problem. Drug dollars ensure substantial financial recharge of terrorism. We believe it vital to continue enhancing international efforts in combatting this evil. Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) always stands ready to provide help on that matter, as it possesses a vast expertise in countering the drug threat, i.a. in the context of operation “Channel-Center”.
We intend to continue cooperation with our Afghan friends in eradicating threats to security, in the first place those coming from ISIL and Al-Qaida; as well as in strengthening potential of civil, enforcement, and anti-drug mechanisms.
Russia consistently supports aspirations of the Afghan people to achieve resilient peace in the IRA. We are genuinely interested in promoting Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process and subsequent stabilization in the country. We have stated on multiple occasions that a peaceful, stable and thriving Afghanistan is our shared goal.
Russia has done much to bring peace to the Afghan land. Among our efforts are the inter-Afghan contacts within the framework of the Moscow Format Consulations that were held on 9 November, 2018, and during the celebration of 100th anniversary of Russian-Afghan diplomatic relations that took place on 28-29 May. Our steps are based on the understanding that national reconciliation rests upon an inclusive dialogue that should leave no public and political force behind. Intra-Afghan dialogue that was launched in Moscow on 5-6 February and became the first one to bring together politicians, women, and the Taliban, confirmed that a broad discussion remains key to achieving peace in Afghanistan. We stand ready to set forth our comprehensive assistance to this process.
Another channel for fruitful interaction on Afghanistan has been the format of trilateral consultations of Special Representatives of Russia, the U.S., and China, with inclusion of Pakistan that was part of the “troika” meeting in Beijing on 11 July.
In the world there is a growing understanding of the importance of regional dimension of Afghan settlement, the need to engage the potential of reputable mechanisms, in the first place that of the SCO and its renewed Contact Group “SCO-Afghanistan”, as well as of the CSTO.
National reconciliation should result from an all-encompassing inter-Afghan dialogue and a course at the unification of all Afghanis without exception. However, after many years of conflict, Afghanistan’s path to peace looks thorny. To walk this path, it will take consolidation of efforts of all stakeholders. Besides, it will take strategic patience to make the formula of final settlement work to its full extent.
We regret the pause in negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban movement. Positive outcome of these negotiations would have unlocked promotion of peaceful national reconciliation and all-encompassing Afghan settlement.
We expect that the current situation will not protract the pause in U.S.-Taliban dialogue. We call upon the sides to get back to negotiations as soon as possible.
Russia recommits to promotion of the peace process in Afghanistan and reiterates readiness to act as guarantor for U.S.-Taliban agreement alongside with other key States of the region.
Afghanistan is on the threshold of presidential elections scheduled for September 2019. We expect the elections to become an important consolidating factor for the people of Afghanistan.