Taliban Promises to Respect Neighbors’ Borders, Russia Says

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The Taliban pledged to respect Afghanistan’s borders with neighboring Central Asian states at talks in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, amid growing concern at the group’s rapid gains amid the pull-out of U.S. troops after 20 years.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Zamir Kabulov, who is the Kremlin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, met with a delegation from the Islamist movement’s political office on Thursday, the ministry said on its website.

“The Russian side expressed concern about the escalating tensions in northern areas of Afghanistan and called for not allowing this to spread outside the country,” the statement said. “The Taliban pledged not to violate the borders of Central Asian states,” it added.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday pledged to help Tajik authorities deal with the increased fighting in the border area and also held phone talks with the leader of Uzbekistan about the worsening situation. At least 1,000 Afghan troops have fled to Tajikistan, which has mobilized an extra 20,000 troops to guard its frontier with Afghanistan. Russia has a major military base in Tajikistan.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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