MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Afghanistan should become a "full-fledged" member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Russia's top enforcement official said on Monday.
"We should offer Afghanistan as much help as possible to solve the planetary problem of drug production," the chief of Russia’s federal drug control service FSKN, Viktor Ivanov, said at a meeting with drug control officials from the SCO member states.
"I believe it would be appropriate to address an initiative on behalf of ministers to SCO heads of state seeking to approve Afghanistan as a full-fledged member considering the importance of its closer integration in SCO economic processes, aimed at alternative development and elimination of drug production," Ivanov said, noting also that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was completing the withdrawal of its combat troops from Afghanistan.
"The United States and NATO certainly want to maintain their strategic positions both on Afghan territory and in Central Asia," he said, adding that the US administration and its allies at the same time tried "to escape responsibility for resolving the problem of large-scale drug production in Afghanistan".
Russia, China and four Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.