Sergey Lavrov stated that representatives from Russia and China had visited Doha, Qatar, and then Kabul, to meet with Taliban leaders and "secular authorities", former president Hamid Karzai, and Abdullah Abdullah who led the Taliban's negotiating team.
Lavrov stated that the Taliban's interim government does not reflect the "whole gamut" of Afghan society, including ethno-religious as well as political forces. So we engage in contacts and they are ongoing.
Taliban promised an inclusive government and a moderater form of Islamic rule. This includes women's rights, stability, after 20 years of war, as well as stopping militants using their territory for attacks. Recent moves indicate that they could return to more restrictive policies, especially toward women and girls.
Lavrov stated that "What is most important...is to make sure that the promises they have made publicly are kept." This is our top priority.
Although the United States has been pressing Iran for a resumption of nuclear negotiations, Lavrov stated that it was former President Donald Trump who pulled the U.S. from the nuclear agreement. So to declare that "time runs out", anyone could declare this, but not Washington.
Russia wants to see negotiations to restore the original accord resumed as soon as possible, he stated. He said that the new Iranian government leaders "are saying they need at most a few weeks, and hopefully not longer, to put together negotiating team since they've had some staff moves."
Lavrov also supported the decision of Mali's transitional government to hire a private Russian military firm to fight terrorists. He said it had a "legitimate right" to do so, and that the Russian government is not involved.
Lavrov stated that France had announced that it would reduce its forces fighting extremists within Mali. In a sharp rebuke of their performance, Lavrov stated that the French forces "should've been fighting terrorists who have established presence in Kidal (in north Mali) but they failed to do so." Terrorists still rule that region."