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Russia ready to work with Afghanistan’s leaders if people support them - UN envoy

September 19, 2014, 0:08 UTC+3
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UNITED NATIONS, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is ready to co-operate with any government in Afghanistan given that it has support of its own population, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

Speaking at a UN Security Council session on Afghanistan, Churkin said that Russia called on Afghanistan to settle the crisis around the presidential elections peacefully.

“The majority of population and main political forces in Afghanistan need to recognise the polls results,” the diplomat said. “Evidently, a solution to the issue about the would-be president should be found exclusively inside the country.”

Russia’s envoy said that against the background of “ups and downs around elections the talks of national reconciliation” had paled into insignificance. He is hopeful that the Afghan authorities “will double their energy in promoting this key aspect so that the country’s life will come back to normal” after all the issues related to the presidential elections are settled.

Besides, Churkin spoke about drug production in Afghanistan.

“A sharp decrease - confirmed by the UN - of fields where poppy was destroyed is of deep concern,” the Russian envoy said. “Drug trafficking climbed to nearly one billion dollars in the country last year.”

He said that Russia would insist “that the new Afghan leadership and all, who plan to work in that country with Afghanistan’s consent, would pay immeasurable attention to elimination of drug threats” as they “pose large-scale risks for the world and stability in the region and far beyond its boundaries.”

Churkin also spoke about international and, primarily, regional co-operation for Afghanistan’s settlement and about the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation /SCO/ that plays a special part in this process as Afghanistan and all its neighbouring countries participate in the SCO in the status of either a member state or an observer state.

On June 14, the run-off in Afghanistan’s presidential election took place, sharpening the stand-off between the two candidates - former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.

The candidates refused to recognise the outcome accusing each other of fraud. An audit of disputable votes was finished but it failed to bring to an end the presidential race officially started on February 1.

The lengthy political crisis has already withdrawn five billion U.S. dollars from the Afghan budget and put the country on the brink of bankruptcy.

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