03:03 GMT30 October 2020
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    Russia is the guarantor and provider of security in the Central Asian region, interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan, former Indian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia Ashok Sajjanhar told Sputnik Monday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated during his recent visit to New Delhi, that India, Iran and Russia should be present at the negotiations of the Afghan government with the Taliban.

    "Russia is the security guarantor and security provider in the Central Asian regions so if terrorism gets a foothold in the Central Asian region, it will ultimately affect the Russian security," Ashok Sajjanhar said, adding that "Russia is integrally involved that there is peace in the Afghanistan."

    Sajjanhar echoed Karzai's statement, saying that since the United States and China had not been able to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, it is time for India, Russia and Iran to be actively involved in the peace process there.

    "Russian role is very important in this region. If terrorism grows and Taliban gains upper hand it will ultimately move towards Central Asia. If Taliban gains foothold in Afghanistan then all the terrorist groups in the Central Asian countries will also become much more active so there will be security problem in the whole region," Sajjanhar added.

    He stressed that Tehran was also interested in stability for Afghanistan, as nearly two million Afghan refugees were currently in Iran and "Western part of Afghanistan has considerable influence of Iran."

    Security in Afghanistan has become fragile following the withdrawal of NATO forces in December 2014 and an ensuing spring offensive by militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State.

    A series of attacks across the country have claimed the lives of several hundreds of people in 2015. On July 7, peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government began in Pakistan. The second round of negotiations, scheduled for July 31, has been suspended in view of the news of Taliban leader Mullah Omar's death.


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