Russia urges Afghanistan’s neighbors to keep out US, NATO forces from region

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the market in Kabul, Afghanistan October 24, 2021. © REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra

MOSCOW, Oct 28 (Pukhtun Nama): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the Central Asian Nations to reject any plans for NATO troops to stay-in in the region around Afghanistan.

“we once again request that Afghanistan’s neighboring countries prevent the military presence of the US and NATO on their soil, as they plan to move there after withdrew from Afghanistan,” Russia TV (RT) quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying.

Last week, during his meeting Taliban leaders, Lavrov stressed that the new de facto government should use its power to prevent any future instability in the region.

“We call on the Taliban movement to strictly prevent anyone from using the territory of Afghanistan against the interests of third countries, primarily against the immediate neighbors of Afghanistan – the countries of Central Asia, our friends and allies,” he said. “In turn, we plan to use our opportunities for including them through the UN, SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organisation], CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization], and other multilateral structures.”

Lavrov statement came after his country’s deputy secretary of the Security Council Earlier Yuri Kokov claim that the US is planning to maintain its military presence in the region.

Recently CNN, in its report, cited three “sources familiar with the details of a classified briefing” to the US Congress, and said that the Biden administration has informed US lawmakers that the country was close to striking a formal deal with Pakistan for the use of its airspace to conduct operations in Afghanistan, Dawn reported.

The report claimed that Pakistan had “expressed a desire” to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in return for help in its own counterterrorism operations and assistance with managing the relationship with India.

The report said that according to a source, the negotiations were still underway and the details of the agreement, which have not yet been hammered out, were still subject to change.

However, later Pakistan Foreign Ministry rejected the CNN report and said that there was “no such understanding” between the two countries.