The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Regional countries’ engagement with Islamic Emirate expanding

The defeat of the United States-led NATO forces in Afghanistan and the return of the Islamic Emirate have provided some regional countries with significant opportunities to strengthen their ties with Afghanistan. This development can be seen as a golden opportunity for some regional countries to pursue their political and economic objectives more effectively in Afghanistan. In the past almost three years, Russia and China have expanded their engagement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as today’s interaction between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and regional countries, particularly Russia and China, are all good and improving by passing each day. For example, China is in favor of Afghanistan’s reintegration into the international community as the country’s Special Envoy Yue Xiaoyong last month voiced a desire to reintegrate Afghanistan into the international community as soon as possible. In late June, Chinese President, Xi Jinping mentioned Afghanistan in a speech on the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and Jointly Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, affirming that China’s resolve to stay on the path of peaceful development will not change,”. Xi referenced the constructive role China has been playing in Afghanistan. Following Xi’s speech, Ambassador Zhao Xing in a signed article published late June this year in The Kabul Times wrote, “For nearly 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, even during the years of frequent wars in Afghanistan, China has always been guided by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, developing friendly relations with Afghanistan as a neighboring country, practicing the spirit of these principles with concrete actions and striving to build a community with a shared future between China and Afghanistan. He wrote: “As Afghan friends often say, China is the only major country that has never harmed Afghanistan. China shares weal and woe with Afghanistan, dedicating to the provision of assistance and support to help the Afghan people rebuild their homeland and achieve peace and stability. China seeks joint development with Afghanistan, actively promoting practical cooperation in various fields such as economy and trade”. Like China, Russia’s engagement with the Islamic Emirate has been also expanding in the past almost three years. Although Russia is one of the countries that maintained its embassy in Kabul and established relations with the Islamic Emirate after it regained power in Afghanistan, it appears that Russia has incrementally increased its engagement with the Islamic Emirate. In the early months of 2022, Russia took its first significant step by accepting a diplomat from the Islamic Emirate as the chargé d’affaires at the Afghan embassy in Moscow. Following this, in early 2023, Russia reopened its consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif. Continuing this trend, in early 2024, the Russian news agency TASS reported: “The issue of removing the Taliban [Islamic Emirate] movement (currently banned in Russia) from the list of the organizations banned in Russia is under consideration”. Russia says the final decision will be made by the country’s top political leadership.” In support and defense of this action, Russia’s Foreign Minister recently stated: “The IEA are the ones who hold real power in Afghanistan. Like the People’s Republic of China, we never closed our embassy there. Kazakhstan has recently decided to remove them from the list of the groups banned in the country, and we plan to do the same. We, like our allies in Central Asia, value Afghanistan.” Additionally, Russia invited representatives from the Islamic Emirate to two significant events: the “World Muslim Congress” held in May 2024 and the “Annual St. Petersburg Economic Forum” held from June 5 to 8, 2024. Most notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his recent visit to Uzbekistan, stated at a press conference in Tashkent: “I am not commenting on this issue at the moment because relations with the IEA and Afghanistan are constantly under review”. “These are the ones who control the country and the territory. They are the current rulers of Afghanistan. Reality must be taken into account, and relations must be shaped accordingly. We are in contact with many of our partners,” he said. “We consider the opinions of each of our partners and friends in the Central Asian region, and we make our decisions in coordination with them.” From all the above, it can be concluded that Russia has gradually and progressively formalized its engagement and relations with the Islamic Emirate,” Putin added. With expanding Russia and China’s engagement with the Islamic Emirate, it seems that both countries and other countries in the region and Afghan neighboring will likely recognize the Islamic Emirate in the near future. Afghanistan also wants state-to-state relations with all countries in the world; therefore, it wants the regional countries in particular to officially recognize the Islamic Emirate as the legal government of Afghanistan. Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.