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RF, Afghan, Tajik presidents discuss regional cooperation

September 02, 2011, 11:51 UTC+3

It is already the third such meeting between the four countries’ leaders

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DUSHANBE, September 2 (Itar-Tass) — The Presidents of Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan - Dmitry Medvedev, Hamid Karzai, Asif Ali Zardari and Emomali Rakhmon – on Friday began a meeting in the state residence of the government of Tajikistan.

It is already the third such meeting between the four countries’ leaders. Opening it, Rakhmon proposed to discuss “the situation in the region, cooperation in security, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian fields, as well as other topics of mutual interest.”

The Kremlin press service told Itar-Tass that the signing of the Joint Statement on the situation in the region is planned on the meeting results. “The main purpose of the summit is to discuss important for the participating countries issues in the political, economic, trade and other sphere, as well as strengthening and further development of the agreements reached at their previous such meeting in Sochi in August last year,” the press service said.

“Special attention is planned to be given to topics of Afghan settlement, combating the terrorist and narcotic threats, economic reconstruction and development of Afghanistan and the region,” the Kremlin stressed. In this context, the quadripartite meeting participants will focus on increasing regional cooperation to help stabilise the situation in Afghanistan and the Afghan-Pakistani border area with the help of such organisations as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the press-service noted.

“A separate item on the talks’ agenda will be drug trafficking,” the Kremlin stressed. “The Russian position is that the Afghan drug threat must be combated in an integrated manner through the whole chain of illegal drug production and supply, including the destruction of drug crops, and tightening of control over the import of precursors into Afghanistan from abroad,” a the press service official said.

He noted that Russia highly appreciates the efforts of the “quartet” partner countries in combating the terrorist threat and calls for involvement of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the joint work based on the Anti-drug Strategy of SCO member states for 2011-2016 and the Programme of Action for its implementation, adopted at the SCO summit in Astana on 14-15 June.

“Much attention during the meeting in the quadripartite format will be given to strengthening trade and economic ties, including joint projects aimed at developing the transport infrastructure, increasing energy availability in the region, upgrading of old and creation of new industries, formation of a favourable investment climate and increasing the volume of bilateral trade,” the Kremlin said.

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