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Russian deputy FM: Ensurance of security in Afghanistan task of international community

November 27, 2013, 5:06 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, November 26, 22:54 /ITAR-TASS/. Ensurance of security and stability in Afghanistan is the common task of international community, said Igor Morgulov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, addressing the 12th international congress on security that opened in Berlin on Tuesday.

“It is only joint efforts that durable peace can be achieved in Afghanistan,” Morgulov holds. “We must coordinate closer our activity and exchange opinions more actively,” the deputy foreign minister said. Afghanistan’s problems cannot be solved by military means only, Morgulov stressed.

Regarding the situation in the country, he has said that, in the opinion of the Russian side, the conflict is far from over. “We are not convinced that the Afghan forces will be able to ensure security,” Morgulov said. He pointed out that the number of terrorist acts in some regions of Afghanistan went up 30 percent in the recent months and the threat of terrorism increased. “Sometimes one gets the impression that international forces are in a hurry to leave the country,” he said.

Russia is extremely interested in the stabilization in Afghanistan, Morgulov went on. “We support the efforts of the Afghan government for reconciliation by means of a dialogue,” he said, pointing out that sanctions against the Taliban can be eased only if they make concessions.

Morgulov believes the international community should give attention to intensifying the fight against drug trafficking in Afghanistan, extensively exchange information and coordinate efforts to solve the problem, which is a challenge not only to Russia, but also to Europe. Morgulov recalled that opium production in Afghanistan grew in the current year.

He also noted that Russia and NATO had reached a number of important arrangements for the development of cooperation. These are, specifically, arrangements on the maintenance of Afghan helicopters and transit of cargoes to Afghanistan. “We are ready to continue cooperation with NATO after 2014, but appropriate legal base is needed for that,” the deputy foreign minister said.

The congress in Berlin that brought together nearly 1,000 participants focuses on the developments in Afghanistan after 2014, the deadline for the withdrawal of international combat units from Afghanistan. Experts often describe the present forum as mini-Munich, referring to the Munich Security Conference which will next be held in February 2014.

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