Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
24th May, 2016
Negotiations with the Taliban will be difficult because of the murder of the leader of the movement – Mullah Akhtar Mansour, reports “Interfax”, quoting the opinion of the director of the Second Asian Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, the President’s special envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.
“If this information is confirmed, then at this stage it will significantly hinder the negotiation process”, – he said.
As Kabulov stated, “the field commanders of the Taliban will continue to fight and are unlikely to run, give up, and start reconciliation”. RIA Novosti notes that, according to the diplomat, “the worst” thing will be the appointment of Siraj Haqqani as the new head of the Taliban.
Reuters experts previously called Haqqani an adversary to negotiations that is also responsible for organizing many attacks.
The death of Mullah Mansour became known on the morning of May 22nd. This information was confirmed by the Taliban, and also the Afghan authorities and the United States. US President Barack Obama called the death a “cornerstone” for peace in the central Asian country.
Mansour led the Taliban, allegedly, from April 2013, but for a while he was doing it on behalf of Mullah Omar, whose death was officially confirmed only in the summer of 2015. Mansour was killed in an American drone strike. The terrorist movement, as was written by Reuters, determined the new leader.
Kabulov previously claimed that Moscow is in contact with the Taliban on combating “Islamic State”, although the data is rejected within the movement itself. It also allows the exclusion of the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations.
The Taliban and ISIS are recognised terrorist organizations and are banned in Russia.