Representatives of 10 countries including China and Iran called on the Taliban during Moscow talks to "practice moderate and sound internal and external policies" and "adopt friendly policies towards neighbours of Afghanistan".

Taliban representatives say they
Taliban representatives say they "are working on improving governance and improving human rights". October 20, 2021. (Reuters)

Russia and Central Asia powerbrokers have agreed to work with the Taliban to promote security in the region and called on Afghanistan's new leaders to implement "moderate" policies. 

Moscow hosted the Taliban for talks in the Russian capital on Wednesday, seeking to assert its influence in the region and push for action against Daesh fighters, which it says have massed in perennially volatile Afghanistan.

Representatives of 10 countries including China and Iran agreed in a statement after the talks to continue to "promote security in Afghanistan to contribute to regional stability".

The participants also called on the Taliban to "practise moderate and sound internal and external policies" and "adopt friendly policies towards neighbours of Afghanistan".

READ MORE: Inclusive government in Afghanistan a top priority in Moscow talks

Recognition by governments

The Taliban must live up to international "expectations" on human rights if they want to be recognised by governments around the world, the Kremlin's representative on Afghanistan said on Wednesday.

During Moscow talks on Afghanistan that included representatives of the Taliban, Kremlin envoy Zamir Kabulov said the group would be recognised when they "start fulfilling the expectations of the international community on human rights and inclusion," Kabulov said.

The Kremlin's envoy to Afghanistan said the Taliban gave participants of the negotiations in Moscow, including China and Pakistan, assurances the group was making headway on rights and governance issues.

Taliban representatives told Kabulov they "are working on improving governance and improving human rights," he told reporters. "We'll see," Kabulov said.

He also called on the international community to abandon its "bias" and unite to help the Afghan people.

"Not everyone likes the new government in Afghanistan, but by punishing the government, we punish the whole people," he said.

Aid for Afghanistan

He said that a joint statement from all 10 participating countries concluding the talks would call on the United Nations to convene a donor conference to raise funds for Afghanistan.

Taliban representatives did not immediately address reporters following Kabulov's comments to journalists.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior figure in the new Afghan leadership, however, said earlier Wednesday that Afghanistan's new leadership was "already inclusive".

"We don't need foreign military aid, we need support for peace in Afghanistan, we need reconstruction and resettlement," Hanafi said.

READ MORE: Afghan Taliban agrees to new national polio vaccination drive

Russia 'recognises' Taliban efforts

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has recognised Taliban "efforts" to try and stabilise the situation in Afghanistan.

"A new administration is in power now," Lavrov told the conference on Wednesday.

"We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus."

The international meeting happened after President Vladimir Putin warned last week that Daesh fighters were gathering in Afghanistan to spread discord in former Soviet republics flanking Russia.

Preventing a humanitarian crisis

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that one of the aims of the Moscow meeting was to consolidate the "efforts of the international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis".

Moscow also said the formation of an "inclusive government" would be on the agenda, and that parties to the talks were expected to release a joint statement afterwards.

It has reached out to the Taliban and hosted its representatives in Moscow several times in recent years, even though the Afghan Taliban has been designated a terrorist organisation by Russia.

The Taliban delegation is headed by Acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior figure in the new Afghan interim leadership, who led talks with the European Union and the United States last week.

Those followed talks in Ankara between the Taliban and Turkish officials.

READ MORE: US: Taliban won't get access to Afghan central bank reserves

Source: AFP