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Northern Afghanistan turning into springboard for international terrorism — Lavrov

International terrorism is fueled by drug production in Afghanistan, according to Russia's top diplomat

UNITED NATIONS, January 19. /TASS/. Surviving jihadists are fleeing from Syria to Central Asia, including Northern Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to security in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

"Northern Afghanistan is turning into a main base for international terrorism with the Afghan wing of the Islamic State in the lead," he said. "It is forming a springboard for heinous designs in the spirit of the notorious ideology of a caliphate."

Drug production in Afghanistan, which saw an unprecedented growth last year, is fueling international terrorism, according to Lavrov.

"Last year saw an unprecedented growth in Afghan drug production," he said.

"Prompt measures are required to curb this threat, which fuels international terrorism, undermines countries’ stability, the health of the younger generation, provokes crime and corruption," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

Russia will continue to help Afghanistan enhance combat effectiveness of its armed forces and train law enforcement personnel, Lavrov said. 

"We will continue to help Kabul train national civil and law enforcement personnel and strengthen combat effectiveness of the Afghan armed forces," he stressed.

According to the Russian top diplomat, ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in Afghanistan is a major factor of stabilization in that country. "The Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States may make their contribution to the common efforts by means of opening a big promising market for Afghanistan," he noted.

Russia "is open for multilateral cooperation on the implementation of large-scale economic and infrastructure projects," such as the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, India) gas pipeline project and the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) energy bridge.

Lavrov also said that Moscow welcomes Uzbekistan’s initiative to convene a conference on the Afghan settlement.

"We welcome Uzbekistan’s initiative to convene a meeting on the Afghan settlement this coming spring," he said.