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Sunday, 22 August 2021

Turkey and Russia are angling for position with the Taliban

Turkey and Russia agreed to coordinate relations with the new Afghan government in the coming period, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan expressing hope for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan during a phone call yesterday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan’s office said in a statement. Erdoğan said dialogue with the Taliban should be kept “open” and he welcomed the Taliban’s “moderate” tone, though he stressed that, “actions, rather than its words, would ensure the shaping of the period ahead.” The Taliban’s victory is good news for Russia in Central Asia, with even the British now saying that Russia and China are needed as “moderating influences” on the Taliban. Moscow has been engaging with the Taliban for years.

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