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Russia Considers Removing Taliban from Terrorist List

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Kremlin spokesperson, Dimitry Peskov

Russia has announced plans to engage in dialogue with Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership and is considering the removal of the group from its terrorist organisation list.

Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, on Tuesday said the two countries – Russia and Afghanistan – need to have a dialogue on important issues.

“This is a country that is next to us, and one way or another we communicate with them,” Peskov told reporters. “We need to resolve pressing issues, this also requires dialogue, so in this regard we communicate with them like practically everyone else – they are the de facto authority in Afghanistan.”

This move comes in the wake of a deadly attack outside Moscow last month, the most severe Russia has faced in two decades, which saw at least 144 people killed by gunmen at a concert hall.

The attack was claimed by Islamic State militants, with United States officials suggesting involvement from the group’s Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan. Russia is also investigating a potential Ukrainian connection to the attack, a claim denied by Kyiv and the United States.

Since the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in 2021 following the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces, they have been listed as a terrorist organisation by Russia.

The current discussions signal a potential shift in Russia’s stance towards the Taliban.

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