Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan
Russia voted in support of UNSC resolution on Afghanistan that opens a “window of opportunity” for achieving broad national reconciliation in this country.
We have solidarity with the people of Afghanistan as they aspire to put an end to the long-lasting war, get back to peace and sustainable development. Today as never before Afghanistan needs collective support of the global community. What ranks first on the agenda is the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations. We expect that the agreement that the U.S. and the Taliban movement signed on 29 February in Doha will be a step towards all-encompassing peace process with participation of all public and political forces of the country for the purpose of settlement.
We understand that the path to that peace will be a rocky one. It will ask for both consolidation of efforts of Afghanis and assistance of regional and international partners.
For its part, Russia has done a lot in order to promote national reconciliation in Afghanistan and facilitate direct intra-Afghan dialogue. This is what our efforts aim at, i.a. the efforts within the Moscow format that arranges participation of regional stakeholders, and the efforts to launch the mechanism of intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow.
The consultations of the “troika” of special representatives from Russia, China, and the United States (with timely involvement of Pakistan) made a very special contribution to creating favorable international conditions, and to resuming negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban movement. This format would have benefited even more should Iran have had an opportunity to join the talks, as Iran has repeatedly reaffirmed its constructive potential in this process.
The people of Afghanistan are living through a game changing moment of the history of their country. We proceed from the assumption that movement to peace is absolutely imperative now. All forces must be directed at facilitating the launch of inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue with participation of all public and political forces of the country. We expect that parties will be represented by delegations that will be authorized to make deals and do the decision-making on a wide range of problems that have accumulated. We call upon all political forces in Afghanistan to cast aside all contradictions, narrow-specific interests and political ambitions and, acting on a unifying basis, jointly address the main task, which is to make peace that ordinary Afghanis have been waiting for. All the involved sides should made the first and the most important step at this track – they must reject violence. It is also important to consolidate efforts for joint fight against terrorism.
Synchronized reconsideration of UNSC sanctions decisions regarding the Taliban movement and of relevant national measures is one of the necessary prerequisites for long-term stabilization in Afghanistan.
By all means, Afghanistan cannot do without support and assistance from regional states, neighbors in the first place. Thereby it is greatly important to fully engage the capacity of regional bodies at this track, first of all of the SCO and its renewed contact group “SCO-Afghanistan”, as well as the CSTO.