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Russia working to remove Taliban from its terrorist list

April 2, 2024 at 3:43 pm

Taliban marks 2nd anniversary of taking over control of Afghanistan in Kandahar, Afghanistan on August 15, 2023 [Mohammad Noori – Anadolu Agency]

Russia said today it had important matters to discuss with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders and was working to remove the group from its list of banned terrorist organisations, Reuters reported.

“This is a country that is next to us, and one way or another we communicate with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“We need to resolve pressing issues, this also requires dialogue, so in this regard we communicate with them like practically everyone else – they are the de facto authority in Afghanistan.”

Peskov did not elaborate on the “pressing issues”, but Russia suffered its deadliest attack for 20 years last month when gunmen stormed a concert hall outside Moscow, killing at least 144 people.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility and US officials said they had intelligence that it was the network’s Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan, that was responsible. Russia has said it is also investigating a Ukrainian link, something Kyiv and the United States have strongly rejected.

The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021 after the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces, but have remained until now on a list of organisations that Russia designates as terrorist.

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