Top security officials meet in Moscow to discuss Afghanistan situation

Moscow meeting. File photo.

Regional Secretaries of Security Councils and National Security Advisors came together in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan, including the threat of terrorism and the issue of weapons abandoned by foreign troops during the withdrawal in August 2021.

Discussions were also held on the security situation in the country and the humanitarian crisis. Top security officials from Russia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the meeting.

This was the fifth meeting of security council heads from countries in the region – the 5th Regional Dialogue on Afghanistan.

Addressing participants, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said that terrorism has become a major threat to the region and that dealing with terror groups such as Daesh, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed requires intensified intelligence and security cooperation between respective countries and their agencies.

He said India will never abandon the people of Afghanistan in their time of need and pointed out India’s ongoing assistance in helping to provide food security and medical supplies.

Davol stated that India’s historical and special relationship with Afghanistan is however going through a difficult phase. He said the well-being of the people of Afghanistan is India’s “foremost priority”.

“This will continue to guide our approach,” he said.

He also pointed to India reaffirming the importance of the UN Security Council resolution that calls for denying sanctuary to terror outfits, including those designated by UNSCR 1267, in the region.

Meanwhile, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told delegates the US was attempting to generate new or rekindle existing flashpoints in the world as part of Washington’s “geopolitical experiments.”
“There is no doubt that the Americans will continue their geopolitical experiments in other regions of the world,” Patrushev said.
According to him, joint efforts to solve security problems were critical because the US and its allies pursued a policy to preserve “old or creating new centers of tension around the world.”

He said one of them remained Afghanistan, “where foundations for long-term challenges and threats were created” during the 20 years of Western military presence.

Patrushev said it was partly due to weapons “abandoned in huge quantities by the Western coalition” after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“We are talking about more than 1,000 armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers, dozens of planes and helicopters, hundreds of artillery pieces, mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, and hundreds of thousands of heavy and light small arms,” he said.

Quoted by Russia’s EFE, Patrushev noted the weapons left in Afghanistan were “worth tens of billions of dollars.”

He said the weapons could escalate the fight between different Afghan groups and end up on the black market, even reaching terrorists in third countries.

He alleged that the Americans contributed to the growth in the volume of drugs cultivated in Afghanistan.

Patrushev claimed that drug production in Afghanistan had multiplied by more than 40 times during the two decades of US occupation.

He also stated that the flow of refugees from Afghanistan could increase if the situation in the country continued to worsen.

Taliban officials were not invited to the meeting, which came amid a period of increased attacks attributed to Daesh in recent months, including an attack on the embassies of Russia and Pakistan and an attack on a hotel in Kabul city where Chinese nationals were staying.