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Taliban current reality, can gain legitimacy by ending terror: Russian diplomat

By Hindustan times

The Taliban movement is a “current reality” in Afghanistan as it will shape the formation of the next government in Kabul but the group will gain legitimacy only when it effectively deals with the problem of terrorism, a senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday.

Russia is closely coordinating with India on the situation in Afghanistan because India is a “big player” in the region and has supported the economic and social development of the war-torn country with investments of more than $3 billion, Russian deputy chief of mission Roman Babushkin told an online news briefing.

Against the backdrop of the Afghan government looking to countries such as India, the US and Russia for air support, especially helicopters and logistics, to bolster its fight against the Taliban, Babushkin ruled out any military intervention. He, however, said Russia is keeping open the option of helping Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) if instability spills over the frontiers.

“The Taliban is a current reality in Afghanistan. It’s a party [to the] intra-Afghan talks, which we believe should be the solution for normalisation and establishment of an inclusive government which should be involving all major ethnic groups,” he said.

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