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Putin phones Khan as Afghanistan brings Pak, Russia closer

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

The two leaders spoke over the phone for the second time since the Taliban took the control of the Afghan capital Kabul.

The conversation followed the successive meetings of the special representatives, foreign ministers, and intelligence heads of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, including Pakistan and Russia, over the past two weeks.

The intelligence heads of the eight countries met in Islamabad last week to discuss the Afghanistan situation.

“Recalling their earlier telephone conversation of Aug. 25, the two leaders exchanged views on the latest developments of Afghanistan, bilateral cooperation, and collaboration in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),” said a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Afghanistan needs urgent humanitarian assistance

Stressing the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for regional security and prosperity, Khan highlighted the urgent need for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country and the imperative of averting an economic crisis.

He also underlined the need for the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan.

The Afghan people should not be abandoned at this “crucial juncture,” Khan noted and called for “close coordination and consultations” between Pakistan and Russia on the situation in Afghanistan.

In the bilateral context, he emphasized the growing cooperation across a range of sectors and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further upgrade the overall relationship.

“Relations between Pakistan and Russia have been on an upward trajectory propelled by converging views on important regional and international issues, growing trust, and increasing bilateral cooperation manifested by recent high-level interactions,” the statement said, adding that the two leaders agreed to remain in “close” contact.