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MOSCOW, September 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and stronger economic relations, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Thursday.
“The two countries’ relations are friendly and confidence-based. The Russian and Afghan leaders meet rather often. The previous meeting took place on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Beijing,” he said adding that this meeting would place a focus on complex situation in Afghanistan.
Russia had been providing assistance to Afghanistan, Ushakov said. It trains the Afghan National Security Forces, including representatives of police, armed forces and anti-drug units in Russia’s special institutions and supplies military hardware, in particular helicopters.
Putin and Karzai will also discuss prospects to step up mutually advantageous relations, the aide said adding that last year’s trade between Russia and Afghanistan totalled $950 million.
They also plan to focus on international aspects of the Afghan crisis, first of all those related to the spread of terrorism and drug trafficking threats.