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Putin Asserts Work in Progress on a Russia-China-Pakistan-U.S. Solution for Afghanistan

Sept. 17, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russia’s President Vladimir Putin concentrated upon the Afghanistan situation today, emphasizing the “Extended Troika” of Russia, China, the U.S. and Pakistan, which he says is “in progress.” In addressing the joint summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit and the Cooperative Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Dushanbe, today, Putin explained: “The Taliban movement, which has become virtually the complete master of the country, has established its own government that has assumed responsibility for the future of Afghanistan. According to the Talibs themselves, this is an interim government, and it cannot be called truly all-inclusive; nor does it represent all segments.

There are no members of other ethnic groups in it. We do not see representatives of other ethnic groups here, but it appears that we, of course, should also work with it.

“Speaking of recognition, I agree with those who have spoken on this matter that it is necessary to coordinate our position on this issue.”

At the joint meeting, Putin indicted the West’s bankrupt and murderous policy. Afghanistan has ended up in a state of complete economic and social devastation over the 20 years of the Western coalition’s presence. “The weapons are perhaps the only thing that the Taliban has made a good haul of over the Western coalition’s 20-year presence in Afghanistan, which bodes no good. Other than that, the country is in a state of complete economic and social havoc.”

But this means that the U.S. should actually be brought back into Afghanistan. According to Putin, “We would consider it optimal to launch this dialogue under the expanded Troika format on Afghanistan, and work is now underway in this direction,” referring to Russia, China, Pakistan, and the U.S.

Otherwise, he said, “I would like to recall the earlier Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan that involved many of our partners from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the CSTO. If necessary, it would be possible to resume its work, with the agreement of all states involved in it.

“Speaking at the latest SCO summit, I have just mentioned the possible resumption of the work of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group that was established precisely in order to work with Afghan partners.” Set up in 2019, it sketched several large economic projects for Afghanistan, integrating it with the development of its SCO neighbors.

At the subsequent SCO Heads of State Council, Putin took the occasion to put the expansion of the SCO on the table: “Of course, we welcome the granting of the dialogue partner status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Russia proactively supports efforts to get these countries involved in various aspects of the SCO’s activities. There is also a robust portfolio of applications from other countries seeking to cooperate with our Organization in one way or another, and it definitely deserves our close attention.” Putin proposed “we need to think about ways to upgrade the participation of observers and dialogue partners in the SCO’s work so that they become more effective. In our opinion, it would be advisable to accompany SCO leaders’ summits with the so-called SCO-plus format at the top or high level and invite all our partners to attend such meetings.”

The SCO Heads of State Council, as expected, “decided to launch the accession process for the Islamic Republic of Iran to join the SCO,” states the Kremlin website, and Putin his remarks to the SCO Heads of State Council stressed, “We have always advocated Iran’s full participation in the work of our Organization.... There is no doubt that Iran’s accession to the SCO will further strengthen the Organization’s international standing.”

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