Lavrov says talks with IEA are ‘necessary’

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged the international community to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) stating “the Taliban is a reality.”

Speaking to reporters in New York after his visit to the United States, Lavrov said: “We assume that the Taliban is a reality. Talks with them on the ground are necessary.”

He said however that Moscow “will not recognize the Taliban (IEA) government de-jure unless it fulfills its internationally recognized obligations,” namely “inclusivity of governing bodies, not just in the ethnic sense, but also in the political one.”

“Basic human rights are also mentioned among other criteria for international recognition, including the rights of girls and women,” Lavrov added.

He also said Moscow is of the opinion that “the West should not dodge discussions, because it stayed in Afghanistan for 20 years and did nothing to boost its economy in any way.”

Lavrov meanwhile said that Moscow supports the initiative to hold a meeting of special representatives for Afghanistan in Doha on May 1, which will be hosted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.