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BISHKEK, September 13 (Itar-Tass) -The unconditional fulfilment of vital reconciliation principles by the armed opposition in Afghanistan is a compulsory condition for a successful dialogue and improvement of the situation in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) here on Friday.
“We welcome the efforts of the Afghan government for the promotion of national reconciliation process and the preparation to the presidential elections in the country in 2014,” he said.
“The dialogue with the armed opposition can have a positive effect only if the militants unconditionally observe the main reconciliation principles,” the Russian president stated. He named the laying-down of arms, the recognition of the Constitution of Afghanistan, a final breaking of the ties with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations among them.
Putin noted that Russia is following attentively the process of shifting responsibility for ensuring security in the country to the Afghan law enforcement agencies.
“We believe that after 2014 any foreign military presence in Afghanistan should be based on a decision of the U.N. Security Council,” the Russian leader noted.
He also noted that the counteraction to the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime from Afghanistan is among common priorities of the SCO states.
“The involvement of the SCO observer countries in the SCO Anti-Terrorism Structure, the counterterrorism military exercises Peace Mission-2014 and the fulfilment of the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy would play an important role in this work,” Vladimir Putin believes.
SCO can make its contribution to the resolution of the Syrian crisis, said Putin, urging the SCO states to maintain close cooperation in joint efforts over the issue.
“Our Organization can make a bulky contribution in the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” he said, noting that the 2002 SCO Charter set cooperation in the prevention of international conflicts and their peaceful settlement as one of common SCO goals.
“In this regard, close cooperation within the SCO, a firm position to ensure the supremacy of provisions and principles of international law, the leading U.N. role in world affairs are important today as never before,” Putin stated.
He added that that military interference in Syria is impermissible. "We believe military interference from outside in the country without a U.N. Security Council sanction is inadmissible," he stressed.
"The diplomatic efforts made recently allowed lowering the direct threat of a military operation,” he said.
"Promoting the initiative to establish international control over chemical weapons in Syria is of great importance," Putin noted.
The president was happy to remind that “reports are coming that the Syrian permanent representative in the United Nations Organization stated Syria will become a full-fledged signatory nation of the Chemical Weapons Convention starting today (Friday, September 13)."
“I believe we should welcome this decision and the actions of the country’s leadership. I would also like to say with hope that this will be a serious step on the path towards crisis resolution,” he added.
“This confirms serious intentions of our Syrian partners to go on this path,” he said with confidence.
Iranian nuclear program
Putin also mentioned the Iranian nuclear program, praising the country's readiness to make headway to resolve the issue. "With satisfaction we note the readiness of Iran to be more open in its nuclear programme," he said.
"We believe Iran, as any other state, has the right for peaceful use of atomic energy, including enrichment," the Russian leader noted. "At the same time, such activity must be put under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) comprehensive control," he added.
After the summit, Putin is expected to have a separate meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss, along with other issues, the Iranian nuclear programme.
Head of SCO member-states should find an optimal solution for the effective financing of joint projects, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated.
At a meeting of the SCO heads of state in a narrow format the Russian leader stressed that projects that are important for the SCO member states are at currently financed by an interbank association.
“With the aim of further improvement of effectiveness of financial support of joint projects we propose to establish the SCO Development Fund,” Russia's head of state said.
According to him, other initiatives, including the Chinese side’s proposal to create the SCO Development Bank, are also being considered.
“The heads of state should continue their discussion in order to find an optimal solution to the problem,” Putin said.
For your convenience, we have prepared an infographic on SCO member-states and observers.