On the eve of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, we again turn our attention to developments in Afghanistan.
It must be acknowledged that the military and political situation in that country remains extremely tense. The Taliban continues to fight in a number of provinces. They extensively use terror against their compatriots, with civilians accounting for most of the victims. The ISIS branch in Afghanistan also remains as active as ever.
The national reconciliation process has come to a standstill. The attempts of the quadrilateral contact group (Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China) to encourage the Taliban to pursue reconciliation with Kabul have failed so far.
Russia supports the inter-Afghan dialogue on the unconditional understanding that the armed opposition must renounce the use of violence and break all ties with terrorist organisations, primarily ISIS and al-Qaeda.
We are urging all sides to the Afghan conflict, and especially the new leaders of the Taliban, to remember that Ramadan is a festival of moral improvement that should motivate believers to display friendship, peace and mercy. Under the circumstances, all parties should renounce violence and use the fasting period to establish a productive inter-Afghan dialogue in the interests of all Afghans.
For our part we confirm that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council the Russian Federation is ready to continue rendering political assistance in the interests of restoring peace and to facilitate the successful implementation of a post-war transformation of Afghanistan, a country with which Russia has a long history of close cooperation.