China, Russia agree to cooperate on Afghanistan

Published on Aug 25, 2021 08:07 PM IST

Putin told Xi that he shares China’s positions and interests in Afghanistan and is willing to work together to “prevent foreign forces from interfering and destroying” Afghanistan.

Crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. (REUTERS)
Crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. (REUTERS)
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China and Russia on Wednesday projected a united front on the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan with the top leadership of the two countries pledging to enhance cooperation on handling the aftermath.

In a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s position of non-interference and respecting Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence.

According to official media reports, Putin told Xi that he shares China’s positions and interests in Afghanistan and is willing to work together to “prevent foreign forces from interfering and destroying” Afghanistan.

During the phone call, Xi told Putin that China is calling for “…concerted efforts to encourage all factions in Afghanistan to build an open and inclusive political structure through consultation, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies”.

Xi also called for the new Taliban dispensation to “…thoroughly dissociate from all terrorist groups, and maintain friendly relations with the rest of the world, especially neighbouring countries”.

According to national broadcaster China Central Television, Xi said: “We intend to establish a political framework for open and tolerant interaction with all interested parties in Afghanistan.”

Putin said Russia also wants to work with China to fight terrorism and drugs smuggling and to prevent the security risks from “spilling out” of Afghanistan.

Their talks came in the backdrop of Beijing attempting to bolster its influence in Afghanistan and keeping its line of communication open with the Taliban.

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