The fifth meeting of the Moscow format on consultations on Afghanistan that took place in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Tatarstan Republic, on September 29 brought together special representatives and senior officials from China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  Media reports say Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister attended the meeting, which also featured representatives of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkiye as guests of honor.

The group met to discuss some of Afghanistan’s most pressing issues such as militancy, the formation of an inclusive government, and freedom for women and minorities in the country.

Participants reportedly urged Afghanistan’s government to take effective measures to dismantle militant groups in the country.

Participants also urged Afghanistan to enhance cooperation with regional countries in the fight against militancy and drug trafficking that they said was emanating from Afghanistan.

IRNA reports that Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a social media post on September 30 that he emphasized on regional initiatives and the formation of a regional contact group, “something that was agreed upon by all representatives as the fundamental solution.”

Kazakh media reports say Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Talgat Kaliyev drew the attention of the audience to the initiative of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on the establishment of the UN Regional Center for Sustainable Development in Central Asia and Afghanistan in the Kazakh city of Almaty. 

Russia's presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said on September 29 in Kazan after the Moscow Format Consultations that US influence in the country was limited to manipulation with asset freezes and threats.

Speaking at a news conference in Kazan, Kabulov said the US "fled" Afghanistan and "stole, but this is officially called frozen, more than seven billion Afghan assets."

"This is their 'influence'. And also American drones hang over Afghanistan and over Kabul, often threatening representatives of the Afghan authorities for their anti-American position.  If this is called influence, then Americans have such influence," he said following a meeting of the Moscow format on Afghanistan.

Kabulov said the attendees of the meeting did not expect any "breakthroughs."

"Inclusive governance in Afghanistan is important for the Afghan people first of all, we proceed from this. Any other non-inclusive structure is short-lived.

"We are not engaged in breakthroughs, we are engaged in solving a problem, it requires patience ... (Our position) implies a patient explanation that will convince our Afghan partners that they need to improve the system of public administration in the country and think more about their people," he said.

The Russian envoy underlined that the Kazan declaration on the results of the meeting had been adopted by all countries, except Tajikistan.

He said the Tajik side disagreed on certain points of this declaration, but declined to elaborate further.

The Moscow Format Consultations was launched in 2016 with the aim to promote political reconciliation between the then-Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban, who were at war against Afghan security forces and the US-led forces in the country.