RUSSIAN INTEL DISCOVERS ANTI-TALIBAN FORCES AT NORTH OF KABUL
■ Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister disclosed on Thursday that anti-Taliban forces led by deposed Afghan vice-president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud were gathering in Panjshir Valley.
Massoud is the son of a slain anti-Taliban fighter. Panjshir Valley lies in the north of Kabul.
Lavrov addressed the press in Moscow after his meeting with the Libyan Foreign Minister. He said “The Taliban doesn’t control the whole territory of Afghanistan,”
“There are reports of the situation in the Panjshir Valley where the resistance of Afghanistan’s vice president Mr Saleh and Ahmad Massoud is concentrated,” he added.
The Foreign Minister reiterated the Russian government call for an inclusive dialogue involving all political players in Afghanistan in order to form a “representative government”
While the United States and its NATO ally countries rushed to evacuate their citizens from Kabul, Russia insisted that its embassy will continue to function.
Reports monitored by Sunbight Media established that the Russian government is seeking contact with the Taliban jihad group in an effort to avoid instability spilling over to neighbouring ex-Soviet states.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova at her weekly press briefing said that the Taliban are “actively restoring order” and have demonstrated their “intent to dialogue”.
Even as the jihad group is still banned and listed in Russia’s Terrorists Watch, the spokeswoman also said that the Taliban are “ready to take into account the interest of citizens, including… women’s rights”.
In a monitored state television broadcast earlier this week, the Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov stated that his meeting with the Taliban in Kabul was “positive and constructive”.●