In a massive development, Russia will skip the Taliban government's inauguration ceremony in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Kremlin said on Friday. Earlier this week, the speaker of Russia's upper house of Parliament said that the nation would be represented by ambassador-level officials at the inauguration, the RIA news agency reported.
On Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had said that Russia is happy to take part in the new Taliban government's ceremony if it's inclusive. "We want to support the process of formation of a government that will reflect the whole spectrum of the Afghan society," he had said.
He had also confirmed that Moscow had received an invitation to the event. Notably, the Taliban has been on Russia's list of terrorist and banned outfits since 2003. Taliban had invited Russia, Pakistan, China, Iran and Turkey for the swearing-in ceremony. The Chinese Foreign Minister, however, said that Beijing had no information regarding the invitation at the moment. Distinctly, Pakistan, Russia and China are still operating their embassies in the war-torn country.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has also remained mum on the invitation. However, Islamabad's top spy was present in Kabul earlier this week. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Faiz Hameed had also met Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (now deputy PM) on Monday.
The Taliban on Tuesday announced the interim government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The new government is led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhand as Prime minister, which Mullah Baradar and Mawlawi Abdul Hanafi his deputies. There is no women in the new cabinet.
Taliban spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi recently also said that women can't be ministers under the Taliban rule and they should restrict themselves to giving birth.