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ASTANA, June 8 (Itar-Tass) — President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Thursday said he is interested in Russia’s active participation in all Afghan affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists.
He prioritised Russia’s opportunity to participate in the restoration of the Afghan economy, as around 150 facilities there had been built with the USSR assistance. “Russian companies are ready to deal with their restoration,” Lavrov said. The minister also conveyed Putin’s words that Moscow is ready to work out new projects.
“The presidents instructed the foreign ministers, the ministers who are engaged in the economy, to prepare a specific program of work in these spheres,” said Lavrov.
He said that the construction of the House of Russian Science and Culture is beginning in Kabul. It was destroyed during military operations, and the work will be launched this year.
Lavrov also pledged that Russia is ready to provide more scholarships to Afghan students for study in Russia in civilian specialties and professions needed for Afghanistan’s security bodies. “We will continue to provide assistance in equipping the Afghan security forces, it is our contribution to combat effectiveness and readiness of the Afghan security forces to control their country after the withdrawal of the international coalition,” Lavrov said.
“Iran and Afghanistan – are the states that are in the depth of the Middle East developments, around which major interests of various powers, including those outside the region are concentrated. And Russia proceeds from the assumption that it is possible to address any problems of this region only on the condition of absolute sovereignty and territorial integrity, based on the refusal from the use of force in dealing with any aspects of the Iranian and Afghan problems, on the need to focus all efforts to find peaceful solutions to the problems arising here,” the minister said. He added that this is what the partners expect from Russia, “they see in Russia’s actions the balancing factor that ensures stability in this troubled region.”
“We will continue this work, we have no hidden interests here, except the vital national ones – to ensure calm, security in the vicinity of our borders, so that nothing could distract us from the creative tasks of moving ahead on the path of socio-economic development of our state. In all these twists and turns in the Near and Middle East we see our interest in preventing the destruction of the foundations of world order, which is based on the UN Charter, which is based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States, on the principle of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace settlement and inadmissibility of various conflict situations and the use of force,” Lavrov emphasised.