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On October 6, 2021, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF, India), and Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS, Iran) held a joint roundtable “Developments in Afghanistan and their regional implications: Russian, Indian and Iranian Perspectives”. In the course of the event, experts from the three countries discussed the issues of internal instability in Afghanistan in the first months of the Taliban rule (a militant group that Russia officially considers a terrorist organization), as well as the related threats to regional and international security. Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); Arvind Gupta, Director, Vivekananda International Foundation; and Mohammad Hasan Sheikholeslami, President, Institute of Political and International Studies; addressed the participants with welcoming remarks.

On October 6, 2021, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF, India), and Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS, Iran) held a joint roundtable “Developments in Afghanistan and their regional implications: Russian, Indian and Iranian Perspectives”. In the course of the event, experts from the three countries discussed the issues of internal instability in Afghanistan in the first months of the Taliban rule (a militant group that Russia officially considers a terrorist organization), as well as the related threats to regional and international security. Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); Arvind Gupta, Director, Vivekananda International Foundation; and Mohammad Hasan Sheikholeslami, President, Institute of Political and International Studies; addressed the participants with welcoming remarks.

Session 1 of the roundtable was devoted to the Russian, Indian and Iranian interests in Afghanistan and the possibilities of their interaction on issues of common interest in order to normalize the situation. The speakers included: Seyyed Rasoul Mousavi, MFA Director general of South Asia Department, Former Ambassador to Tajikistan and Finland; P.S. Raghavan, Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), former Ambassador to Russia; and Mikhail Konarovsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation; Leading Research Fellow, Center for East Asia and SCO Studies, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University; RIAC Member.

Session 2 focused on the implications of recent developments in Afghanistan for third parties - the United States, China, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf region. Their influence on the situation in Afghanistan was discussed by Arun K Singh, Member, NSAB, former Ambassador to the US; Gleb Ivashentsov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation; RIAC Vice President; and Hosein Ebrahim Khani, Senior Researcher, IPIS and Former Ambassador to Vietnam

During Session 3 experts assessed the impact of the Afghan crisis on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) agenda and Iran's full membership in the SCO launched in 2021. SCO’s search for a common approach to solving the Afghan issue assessing opportunities and risks for regional actors has become even more urgent. The speakers included: Bahman Agharazi, Former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, IPIS Senior Researcher; Amb. Sanjay Singh, former Secretary East, MEA; former Ambassador to Iran; and Andrey Kazantsev, Chief Research Fellow, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University; Professor, Department of International Relations, Leading Research Fellow, Laboratory of Political Geography and Contemporary Geopolitics, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Higher School of Economics.

The sessions were moderated by Ksenia Kuzmina, RIAC Deputy Director of Programs; Majid Qafelebashi, IPIS vice president; and Ravi K Sawhney, Centre Head and Senior Fellow, National Security and Strategic Studies & Internal Security Studies, VIF; respectively. The second session was also attended by Ivan Bocharov, Program Assistant at the RIAC.

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