Russia, which fought a long war against Islamic Jihadis in Afghanistan via the Soviet Union, has declared the Taliban will not touch a hair on the heads of its diplomats in Kabul. However, they say some personnel will be evacuated as Taliban troops recapture Afghanistan’s capitol.
The Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) took the Russian embassy in Kabul under protection on Monday and confirmed that Russian diplomats could continue their work safely, Foreign Ministry official and presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
“Taliban members are already guarding our embassy as Afghan security forces that used to protect us left earlier today. The Taliban confirmed once again that no one will harm a hair on the heads of Russian diplomats, saying that ‘you can work undisturbed,” Kabulov said.
According to him, peaceful life continues in the Afghan capital. “Good news: schools for girls remain open in the city,” the envoy added. “We have a school nearby. I heard children laugh as I was passing by today,” he said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“We have a relatively large embassy in Afghanistan, it’s about 100 people altogether. Some of our employees will be sent on vacation or evacuated in some other way so as not to create too much of a presence,” Russia’s ambassador to Kabul Dmitry Zhirnov said, reported The Moscow Times.
“We will carefully see how responsibly they govern the country in the near future. And based on the results, the Russian leadership will draw the necessary conclusions,” Kabulov added, reported TASS.
“We see no direct threat to our allies in Central Asia. There are no facts proving otherwise,” he pointed out.
Kabulov emphasized that Russia had established contact with the Taliban movement in advance. “We have long built ties and contact with the Taliban movement,” he said. “The fact that we laid the groundwork for a conversation with Afghanistan’s new authorities in advance is a Russian foreign policy achievement, which we will take advantage of fully to ensure Russia’s long-term interests,” the diplomat added.
“We have long been in talks with the Taliban on the prospects for development after their capture of power and they have repeatedly confirmed that they have no extraterritorial ambition, they learned the lessons of 2000,” Kabulov stressed. “However, it doesn’t mean that we can relax. When a regime changes completely, some space emerges for other international terrorist organizations that may pose a threat to our allies in the future,” he said.
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