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Top diplomat says Russia plans to take additional steps to settle situation in Afghanistan

Russia is ready to cooperate with Kabul in the interests of enhancing the Afghan army

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russian plans to take additional steps towards national reconciliation in Afghanistan, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after a meeting with adviser to the Afghan president on national security Hanif Atmar.

"It is very important to continue conversation with you on issues of national reconciliation," he said. "In the recent months, we have taken a number of initiative steps with participation of a number of countries that are the key foreign players."

"We plan additional steps in this direction," Lavrov added.

Russia is ready to cooperate with Kabul in the interests of enhancing the Afghan army, he said. 

"We have full determination towards further developing cooperation with Afghanistan in trade and economic, humanitarian areas and in assisting the strengthening of combat capability of Afghan security forces and army," Lavrov said.

Hanif Atmar said Afghanistan highly appreciates Russia’s initiative towards regional consensus in Central Asia in order to promote partnership in various spheres.

"Traditionally, Afghanistan carries out a multi-vector foreign policy and Russia is a major factor in our country’s foreign policy," he said. "Russia and Afghanistan have important common interests and our partnership is playing a major role in achieving these common goals. Our cooperation plays an important role in countering terrorism and drug trafficking, in ensuring peace and national reconciliation in our country and in developing trade-and-economic relations."

"Afghanistan highly appreciates your recent initiatives towards regional consensus in order to promote such partnership," Atmar added.