MOSCOW, February 20 – The meeting of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with special representatives for Afghanistan from a number of countries, held in Qatar, essentially failed, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
The second meeting of UN Secretary General Guterres with special representatives for Afghanistan from a number of countries and organizations (Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, USA, Great Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Canada, OIC, SCO and EU) took place on February 18-19 in Doha (Qatar). The Russian delegation was headed by the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.
“We are forced to admit that the event, in fact, failed. The delegation of the Afghan government refused to participate due to the humiliating conditions associated with the fact that it was allowed only to minor events with the involvement of fugitive emissaries of the so-called Afghan civil society. The latter were selected by Westerners without coordination with Kabul and even the UN Security Council,” Zakharova said, her commentary was published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
She recalled that, as a sign of solidarity, the Russian side “refrained from contacts” with these representatives, and some of our partners “followed its example.”
“No decision was made on the previously announced plans by the UN to create the post of a special envoy of the Organization and a “small contact group” on Afghanistan. Unfortunately, such important issues were included on the agenda without proper elaboration. Any initiative – be it the establishment of a new post or format – is doomed to fail without the support of Kabul and regional states,” Zakharova noted.
At the same time, on the sidelines of the event, the Russian delegation held a number of meetings, including the next meeting of the Russia-China-Iran-Pakistan Quartet, which is actually the contact group of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. The line of solidarity towards strengthening regional cooperation and the leading role of the countries of the region in global efforts in the Afghan direction was reaffirmed.
“It was noted that the accession of ‘extra-regionals’ is possible only on the condition that the United States and NATO take primary responsibility for the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and the post-conflict reconstruction of this country, return blocked assets to Kabul and lift restrictions on banking transactions,” the Foreign Ministry representative added RF.