MOSCOW (Dispatches) – The U.S. cannot and should not transform the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan into the relocation of its military facilities to Central Asia, Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Friday.
“We have already sent such a signal to Washington at various levels, I hope it will be heard,” Kabulov told Russian news agency, RIA.
Kabulov called “a dead end” the current confrontation between the Taliban and the Afghan government and urged all sides to establish a coalition government.
He promised international support in forming an interim government, stressing that “the final decision on the configuration and parameters of the future power structure should be made by Afghans themselves.”
The envoy expects that a suitable occasion for the launch of the negotiation process will come closer to autumn. He did not exclude a meeting to push peace talks.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov said Daesh is taking over territories across Afghanistan, excoriating Western armies for allowing the terrorist group to take root in the country.
“We are worried about this, because ISIL (Daesh) is actively acquiring territories - mostly in Northern Afghanistan, right on the borders of countries that are our allies, amid the irresponsible behavior of some officials in Kabul and amid the hasty withdrawal of NATO, which is unable to report the achievement of at least some objectives,” Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying on Friday.
“It is important to shine the spotlight on Afghanistan, where ISIL members are actively concentrating their forces, and they do so, taking advantage of an irredeemably drawn-out process of hammering out real peace negotiations,” he added.
Lavrov said Moscow holds consultations with regional member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in efforts to guarantee security in Central Asia in the face of surging terrorist operations by Daesh.
The U.S. evacuated the largest occupied military base in Afghanistan, located in the ancient city of Bagram near the nation’s capital of Kabul, 20 years after the invasion of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s district administrator for Bagram, Darwaish Raufi, said Friday the American departure was done overnight without any coordination with local officials.
Consequently, Raufi added, following the early Friday evacuation, dozens of local looters stormed through the unprotected gates before Afghan forces regained control.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved creating an office in Qatar with Brig. Gen. Curtis Buzzard as its head to ‘support’ Afghan forces, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said on Friday.
On Friday, Kirby confirmed that Washington had withdrawn its forces from the Bagram Air Base. It is also home to the Parwan Detention Facility, the main prison holding individuals detained by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
A Taliban spokesperson welcomed the move, saying that it was a positive step in the interests of both the U.S. and Afghanistan that will help achieve peace and security in the country.