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Russian FM Lavrov welcomes ‘encouraging signals’ from Taliban

Foreign minister says Moscow supports all-inclusive dialogue in Afghanistan.

Russia sees “encouraging signals” from the Taliban but will not rush to recognize them as Afghanistan’s legitimate authority, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Kaliningrad, Sergey Lavrov said the group’s willingness to form an inclusive government is encouraging.

“We are not in a hurry to recognize it [the Taliban], just like all other countries,” he said. “Yesterday I spoke with the foreign minister of China, we have the same positions and see encouraging signals from the Taliban such as their desire to have a government with the participation of other political forces, allowing education for girls, and the functioning of the state machine in general, without blocking the way for those officials who worked under the previous government of President [Ashraf] Ghani.”

The minister praised the capability of the Taliban to “effectively ensure law and order” on the streets of Kabul.

“We support the beginning of an all-inclusive dialogue with the participation of all political and ethnic groups of Afghanistan,” Lavrov said.

After quickly overrunning smaller administrative districts and provincial hubs, the Taliban on Sunday entered the Afghan capital Kabul and seized power, taking the country’s reins for the first time in almost 20 years.

The government quickly folded, with President Ghani other key officials fleeing for safety abroad.

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