10:25 GMT 13.09.2017 (updated 10:47 GMT 13.09.2017) Get a short URL
The head of the Russian Department of State's second Asian division told Sputnik that the United States had rejected Russia's proposal to hold consultations on Afghanistan.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia has proposed to the United States to hold consultations on issues related to Afghanistan in the spring. Washington declined the offer, however, and later proposed to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the chairman of the United Nations General Assembly. The second Asian department of the Russian State Department announced Sputnik on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Buzzfeed News Portal, citing an allegedly received document from Russia, reported that Moscow had proposed to Washington to re-establish diplomatic and military communication channels and security service contacts.
Zamir Kabulov, who is also the President's Russian envoy to Afghanistan, did not confirm the plan's existence, but said that proposals to conduct the crisis-stricken Asian state were sent to the US in the spring.
"Yes, (the proposals were sent) before May, but the US side did not respond at the time, saying that a review of Afghan policies has not yet been completed. This situation continued until the end of summer. Then (the review) was alleged completed. But we have never withdrawn from contact, we are ready for these consultations, "said Kabulov.
The senior official added that the Russian side had invited US officials to Moscow, but they had not come.
"(Alice) Wells (was appointed Deputy Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs) … She acts as Special Representative for Afghanistan (and Pakistan). I accompany the (Russian Foreign) Minister (Sergei Lavrov) to New York Ministerial Week of the UNGA meeting. On the sidelines of this event, I will be prepared to meet the US representative on the initiative of the US side, "added the high-ranking diplomat.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil in which insurgents from the Taliban terrorist group banned in Russia and other extremist factions operate in the country.
The United States has been fighting terrorism in Afghanistan since 2001. On August 21, however, US President Donald Trump announced a new strategy for Afghanistan, in which he spoke about the need to win over other countries in the region for settlement efforts, including in the crisis-ridden Asian state.