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Lavrov to participate in Regional Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul

June 14, 2012, 1:04 UTC+3

The main topic of the forum is transfer of responsibility for security in that country to Afghanis

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MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) ——Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will participate in Kabul on Thursday in the Regional Conference on Afghanistan. The main topic of the forum is transfer of responsibility for security in that country to Afghanis.

This topic is similar to the key topic of a similar meeting in Istanbul in November of 2011.

The Istanbul Process is in line with Russia’s approaches, “where it is necessary to organised an architecture of regional cooperation so that a leading role is granted to the region’s countries, without interference from countries outside the region and without damage of the existing formats, and first of all SCO /Shanghai Cooperation Organisation/.” Other topics of the meeting will include the process of national peace, fighting terrorism and drug crimes emerging in Afghanistan’s territory.

Russia is interested in establishment of Afghanistan “as a peaceful, independent, neutral and stable country with healthy independent economy free from terrorism and drug crime.”

Sergei Lavrov is expected to attract attention of the participants to consequences of the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan due in late 2014. The situation is stalemate: on one hand, the contingents have been in Afghanistan’s provinces for too long, on the other hand – Afghani are not able as yet to undertake security control in the country. Besides, there is the requirement ISAF are to report the UN Security Council on fulfilment of the mandate.

The coalition is not rushing to confirm mistakes in the mission, at least because they are many. Take, for example, the civil victims of the “incidental” air assaults of NATO. Pakistan has reacted to these drawbacks having literally terminated its obligations for the transit. Thus the importance of an alternative northern route for transporting cargo – via Russia – is only growing.

However, Moscow has many questions to the coalition: the NATO forces are reluctant to fight the drug threat and besides it shirks cooperation with CSTO. At the same time, the Russia-Afghanistan has been improving, and it was confirmed over the past SCO summit in Beijing, where Kabul received a status of an observer. “Russia welcomes granting to Afghanistan the status of SCO’s an observer,” Russia’s foreign ministry said. “In future the Islamic Republic of Iran may become the organisation’s full-fledged member.”

Unfortunately, despite the demands of the current situation, the example of Afghanistan demonstrates “the eastern issue” has not been solved as yet; while Russia has proven historically its adherence to peaceful and stable development of that region without interference from outside.

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