| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

Afghan Resistance Leader Massoud Hopes Russia Can Mediate Talks With Taliban

The leader of the resistance in the Afghan province of Panjshir, Ahmad Massoud, has told Russia’s RBC that Moscow could mediate negotiations with the Taliban.

Russia, according to Massoud, could help hold a sort of emergency peace negotiation between the resistance and the Taliban, and convince the latter to participate. This mediation would be of help to the resistance, the leader noted, adding that neither he nor his supporters have made contact with Russia yet.

The resistance leader expressed hope that they will have an opportunity to meet with Russian officials, as Moscow is concerned about the security and political situation in Afghanistan.

There is hope that Russian authorities will intervene politically and help curb violence, Massoud continued. This is in their interests because if extremist ideology prevails in Afghanistan, it will reverberate throughout Central Asia and southern Russia, and extremism will be on the rise, he warned.

Thus, it is in Moscow’s interest to help create an inclusive government in Afghanistan, otherwise further escalation may result in more terrorists who would seek to spread across the region and destabilise southern Russia, Massoud warned.

Panjshir, located northeast of Kabul, remains the only Afghan province that has not fallen to the Taliban. It is now the epicentre of resistance against the militants, led, among others, by Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the anti-Taliban “Northern Alliance”, who was killed by terrorists twenty years ago.

In an interview with the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat earlier in August, Massoud expressed the resistance’s readiness to engage in talks to form an inclusive government with the Taliban, but noted that an Afghan government “characterised by extremism” is unacceptable.

  • Sputnik