Moscow Fears Taliban May Take Large Regions of Afghanistan – Envoy

© REUTERS / Noorullah ShirzadaAfghan alleged former Taliban fighters carry their weapons before handing them over as part of a government peace and reconciliation process at a ceremony in Jalalabad on February 24, 2016
Afghan alleged former Taliban fighters carry their weapons before handing them over as part of a government peace and reconciliation process at a ceremony in Jalalabad on February 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Moscow has noted that the Taliban have intensified their activities in Afghanistan this year and danger exists that large regions may be taken, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Tuesday.

In this Monday, March 28, 2016 photo, an Afghan man works at a lapis lazuli factory in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to Kabulov, this year could be “particularly hot” due to the increased activity by the Taliban, adding that much of their forces have remained in Afghanistan and separate units are in Pakistan.

“We can safely speak about the large-scale crisis that is threatening the existence of Afghan statehood,” Kabulov said at a press conference in Moscow.

Russia could consider the Taliban as a non-terrorist organization if the Taliban fulfills the conditions of national reconciliation and step away from terrorism and could become a political force in the future with Afghanistan’s acknowledgment and the UN Security Council’s approval, Kabulov said.

Afghan Taliban fighters. File photo - Sputnik International
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“After including [the Taliban] in the UN Security Council’s sanctions list, we viewed them as a terrorist organization. Today, taking into account the changes in the program situation of the Taliban movement, we are carefully studying and observing their activity. If they are ready to fulfill the three conditions on national reconciliation, then we don’t see a reason to consider them a terrorist organization and they’ll become one of the political forces in Afghanistan that will have the right for future existence and recognition. But we must decide, and the Afghan government needs to confirm this, and the UN Security Council will need to acknowledge this,” Kabulov said during a press conference.

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