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  • Security officials shift injured victims of a suicide bomb attack to a hospital, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, May 12, 2020.

    Security officials shift injured victims of a suicide bomb attack to a hospital, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, May 12, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 May 2020
Opinion

A military offensive against the Taliban and the suspension of the release of prisoners jeopardize the agreements reached in February.

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country is ready to help the United States and the Taliban overcome difficulties in implementing the Doha Peace Agreement.

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"We salute the agreement, although we warn of the importance of involving neighbors more actively so that their interests can also be taken into account," Lavrov said in a conference with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, China, and Pakistan.

"We are not happy that the U.S.-Taliban agreements become bogged down. We see the reasons why this is happening and we are ready to help overcome these causes," he added, explaining that an inclusive inter-Afghan dialogue is necessary.

On Feb. 29, the U.S. and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, which provides for negotiations between the insurgent movement and the Afghan government to implement a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

That agreement also established the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan within 14 months, the review of sanctions against the insurgent group, and an exchange of prisoners between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Regarding the factors halting the peace process, Russian Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov mentioned that Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani ordered the launch of a military offensive against the Taliban and the suspension of the release of prisoners.

Lavrov stressed that a peace agreement is possible "only if the interests of the Afghans are taken into account, and then the legitimate interests of the region's countries," among which are Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, and Pakistan.

"I hope that the SCO can contribute constructively to overcoming this impasse. To do this, our U.S. colleagues must return to collective work," the Russian foreign minister said, recalling that the SCO developed a roadmap to help resolve the Afghan conflict.​​​​​​​

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