Democracy can’t be forced on others, Russia tells US

The Russian foreign minister on Wednesday said the Afghan campaign should teach the US that democracy cannot be forced on others.

Speaking at a joint news conference after a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in the capital Vienna, Sergey Lavrov said the main conclusion the US should draw from the Afghan war is that “it is useless to teach others how to live.”

“We have observed in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan how the Americans wanted to force everyone to live as the Americans see fit. Everyone should deal with their own problems, there are enough of them in every country,” he said.

“We should not interfere in someone else’s business. We should not use force in a way that violates the UN Charter.”

Schallenberg called the Afghan issue “the most serious topic on the international agenda.”

He urged the international community to do everything possible to prevent Afghanistan from “becoming an incubator of international terrorism,” and stop a new wave of migration from there.

Austria is making efforts to handle the Afghan crisis as it considers that the evacuation of Afghans cannot be the only response to the crisis, Schallenberg said.

As part of these efforts, Vienna will hold a conference with Afghanistan’s neighbors Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan next week, he said.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after taking over the capital Kabul on Aug. 15, forcing the president and other top officials to leave the country.

The swift Taliban takeover triggered an exodus from the country, with thousands trying to leave from Kabul international airport – the only area of the country still under US control – with an Aug. 31 deadline looming for evacuations to finish.

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