New US strategy for Afghanistan is ‘dead-end’ – Lavrov

Thursday, August 24, 2017
By Paul Martin
24 Aug, 2017

The new US strategy in Afghanistan has no chance for success, as it mainly relies on the use of force, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“The main emphasis in the new strategy, which was announced by Washington, is made on settlement through use of force,” Lavrov said at a press conference on Thursday. “We believe that it’s a dead-end approach.”

Apart from that, the new strategy allows negotiations with the Taliban without any preconditions, which is also a significant flaw, Lavrov added, saying that it jeopardizes the joint international stance formed in the UN Security Council.

“If I’ve got the new US strategy right, it allows contacts with the Taliban without them fulfilling any conditions at all,” Lavrov said.

“I don’t think that it goes in line with our joint interest to follow the negotiated, coordinated line which is approved by the UN Security Council. But I hope that within the framework of the expert-level contacts we have with our American colleagues, we will be able to clarify this apparent contradiction.”

Lavrov noted that the UN Security Council, with the approval of Afghanistan’s government, ruled to allow the Taliban to enter the negotiation process under conditions that include severing terrorist links, bringing armed resistance to an end, and respecting Afghanistan’s constitution.

“We maintain the contacts with the Taliban exactly in accordance with these criteria, urging them to comply with these UN Security Council demands,” the minister said.

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