TALIBAN MUST MEET EXPECTATIONS ON RIGHTS: RUSSIA

The Taliban must live up to international “expectations” on human rights if they want to be recognised by governments around the world, the Kremlin’s representative on Afghanistan said on Wednesday.

During Moscow talks on Afghanistan that included representatives of the Taliban, Kremlin envoy Zamir Kabulov said the militants would be recognised when they “start fulfilling the expectations of the international community on human rights and inclusion”, Kabulov said.

The Kremlin’s envoy to Afghanistan said the Taliban gave participants of the negotiations in Moscow, including China and Pakistan, assurances the group was making headway on rights and governance issues.

Taliban representatives told Kabulov they “are working on improving governance and improving human rights”, he told reporters. “We’ll see,” Kabulov said.

He also called on the international community to abandon its “bias” and unite to help the Afghan people.

“Not everyone likes the new government in Afghanistan, but by punishing the government, we punish the whole people,” he said.

He said that a joint statement from all 10 participating countries concluding the talks would call on the United Nations to convene a donor conference to raise funds for Afghanistan.

Taliban representatives did not immediately address reporters following Kabulov’s comments to journalists.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior figure in the new Afghan leadership, however, said earlier on Wednesday that Afghanistan’s new leadership was “already inclusive”.

“We don’t need foreign military aid, we need support for peace in Afghanistan, we need reconstruction and resettlement,” Hanafi said.