Taliban delegation meets with special envoy in Moscow
Taliban representatives on Thursday met Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special envoy to Afghanistan, in Moscow to stress that its recent territorial gains in the country do not pose a threat to Russia or its Central Asian allies, according to the Washington Post.
Why it matters: The meeting came days after a Taliban offensive forced more than 1,000 members of Afghanistan's security forces to retreat into neighboring Tajikistan, where Russia maintains a military base.
- In response to the crossing, Tajikistan called 20,000 military reservists into action to strengthen the country's southern border.
What they're saying: The Russian Foreign Ministry said Kabulov shared Russia's concerns about the escalation in fighting in northern Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to prevent the conflict from spreading beyond the country's borders, according to TASS, Russia's state news agency.
- The Taliban assured Russia that it would not violate the borders of Central Asian states.
- The insurgency group also pledged to prevent the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan and to crackdown on drug production in the country’s territory.
The big picture: The United State's military withdrawal from Afghanistan has coincided with large territorial gains by the Taliban and a sharp increase in violence.