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Russia uses full potential of SCO, CSTO to fight threats from Afghanistan — top diplomat

Sergey Lavrov also praised the existing agreement among the participants in the CSTO and SCO summits held in Dushanbe in September

MOSCOW, October 27. / TASS /. Russia plans to leverage the full capacity of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) in order to counter drug trafficking and the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Wednesday in a video message to the participants of a ministerial meeting with Afghanistan's neighboring countries (Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). 

"It is obvious that without a vigorous fight against the production and smuggling of drugs, against international terrorist groups entrenched in Afghanistan and influenced from the outside, it is hardly possible to establish a normal foreign policy, especially with the neighboring countries, which are primarily targeted by these destructive forces," the Russian top diplomat noted. "For our part, we are planning to use all the global and regional tools at our disposal, the resources of the UN, SCO, CSTO and other multilateral structures."

Lavrov also praised the existing agreement among the participants in the CSTO and SCO summits held in Dushanbe in September. "We are satisfied with the results of the joint meeting of the CSTO and SCO members," the foreign minister stated.

The first meeting of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries took place online on September 8. During the current talks in Tehran, the parties plan to focus their efforts on helping to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan, which will include all ethnic groups. During the offline talks, the Russian side will be represented by Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan.

The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take control of Afghanistan after the US had announced its intention to withdraw its forces in the spring. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, with Afghanistan’s then-President Ashraf Ghani subsequently fleeing the country. On September 6, the Taliban gained full control over Afghanistan, and on September 7, the radicals announced the new interim government, which has not been recognized by any country yet.