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Russia disfavours talks with Taliban: Diplomat

Last Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 15:50

New Delhi: With many western powers not adverse to holding talks with sections of Taliban, Russia has made it clear that it was not in favour of such parleys, asserting that there is no "good or bad" Taliban.

The issue is expected to be discussed threadbare in the upcoming Foreign Office Consultations between India and Russia with the Russians keen to deepen the Af-Pak dialogue with India.

The meeting will also be focussing on the impact and other aspects of the recent announcement by US President Barack Obama to pull out 34,000 troops from the war-torn country.

Strongly disfavouring talks with Taliban, a senior Russian diplomat told a news agency, "Russia is against talks with Taliban. We don`t understand the theory of good or bad Taliban".

The remarks come at a time when the US and the UK seem to have conceded to Pakistan the lead role in reconciliation with Taliban.

Pakistan had released several Taliban detainees, including senior officials, to facilitate peace talks.

Late last year, sections of Taliban had unofficially met with Afghan representatives in Paris. Taliban is in the process of opening up a political office in Qatar.

Last month, Pakistan`s President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai had vowed to achieve a peace settlement for Afghanistan within six months, after talks hosted by Britain.

The Russian diplomat said stability in Afghanistan post the troop pull-out was necessary for the region and added that there was a risk of the war-torn country getting polarised on ethnic lines that could eventually help extremists and terrorists.

Afghanistan is scheduled to go for elections next year and hence the transition process has become more complex.

Countries like India and Russia would be keenly watching the elections on who will come to power in Kabul.


First Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 15:50

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