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© Reuters.

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Russia, China and Pakistan called on Friday for aid funding to Afghanistan from the United States.

A summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was dominated by Afghanistan’s fate. It was established 20 years ago to be a meeting place for Russia, China, and ex-Soviet Central Asian states. However, it has recently expanded into an organisation with greater regional ambitions. India and Pakistan joined the group in 2017 and Iran joined them on Friday.

The leaders of the group stated that it was the responsibility both of the West and of the United States to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. This is where Western aid helped support the Taliban government which was overthrown by them last month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the United States and NATO nations should bear the majority of Afghanistan’s expenses for rebuilding after conflict. They are responsible directly for the serious consequences of prolonged US presence in Afghanistan.

Washington must unfreeze Afghan assets from the central bank. They have been locked since the Taliban overthrow. Without these funds Afghanistan’s new leaders would likely turn to drugs and arms trading.

China’s President Xi Jinping did not mention the United States. He said that certain countries should take responsibility for Afghanistan’s future, as they had been the “instigators” to the current situation.

Imran Khan (the prime minister of Pakistan, which is closest to Taliban supporters than any neighbor) stated that it was important to avoid a humanitarian crises and economic meltdown. Remember that the former government relied on foreign assistance heavily and could be removed.

However, leaders were still cautious about Afghanistan’s new interim cabinet. It was composed almost exclusively from Pashtuns.

Pashtuns are the main source of Taliban support. They make up less than half of Afghanistan’s population. Many of the major ethnic groups also have strong linguistic and cultural ties with Shanghai Organization members like Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzkistan.

Khan of Pakistan said that the Taliban must create an inclusive political structure, which would include all ethnicities. This will prevent Afghan soil being used as a base for international militancy.

Putin said that the provisional government was not functioning. We do not have representatives from other ethnicities there so it cannot be called representative or inclusive. We believe that we must work together with it.

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