Building an anti-Western alliance of states: rapprochement with the Taliban

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Written By Maya Cantina

Russia and China are moving step by step towards full diplomatic recognition of the Afghan Taliban regime.

Taliban leaders during a trade fair

Kabul, April 25: Taliban Deputy Economy Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar visits a trade fair Photo: Samiullah Popal/epa

BERLIN taz | Thanks to the Russian government, the Afghan Taliban are one step closer to the diplomatic recognition they crave. On Tuesday, Russia’s official Tass news agency circulated a video of President Vladimir Putin casually saying with his hand in his pocket:Afghanistan has problemsI’m sure everyone knows that.” But the Taliban are “the people in power in today’s Afghanistan.” Relations with them are “necessary.” The opinions of Russia’s “partners and friends in Central Asia” are also studied.

Many countries there already maintain intensive relations with the Taliban, even though they have not yet officially recognized their regime. Just like Western countries, they are interested in this the national Islamic Taliban in the Hindu Kush continue the fight against the global terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS).

On Monday, the Russian Foreign and Justice Ministries informed Putin that he could remove the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Kazakhstan has already done this. We are now waiting for a decision, said Russia’s Special Ambassador to Afghanistan Samir Kabulov.

He justified the proposal on television Monday: Moscow was interested in cooperation “not only in different economic sectors, but also between our law enforcement agencies,” given the Taliban’s “effective potential” to “suppress and suppress the Islamic State.” ‘ to eliminate”.

Nevertheless, according to Kabulov it is ‘premature to speak of recognition’. We “continue to work” on this topic.

Moscow’s trade volume with Kabul has increased fivefold

Two weeks earlier he had already stated: “I don’t want to say that the Taliban are our greatest friends, but of course they are not enemies.” Russia’s trade volume with Afghanistan has increased fivefold since 2021, when the Taliban took power again, but is still far behind Pakistan and Iran.

So far, no country has fully recognized the Taliban regime diplomatically. Russia, China and other states however, have ambassadors in Kabul. China became the first country to accredit a Taliban-appointed ambassador to the UN Security Council. President Xi Jinping personally accepted his credentials in Beijing in January.

That is Part of Russian and Chinese foreign policyto forge an anti-Western alliance of states, as is already visible in Africa and parts of the Balkans. However, Russia and China have so far stuck to the consensus not to cede Afghanistan’s UN headquarters to the Taliban.

Most Central Asian states, some in the Gulf and also Turkey, have already accredited lower-ranking Taliban diplomats. Western countries also have ambassadors for Afghanistan, but they reside in neighboring countries. For example, people from Switzerland, Japan, Norway and Great Britain regularly travel to Afghanistan.

Other countries such as the US or Germany avoid this. However, they do meet with Taliban representatives, especially in Qatar. There were also repeated contacts between the US and the Taliban about the fight against IS.

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