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Moscow supports Afghanistan’s peace process

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Russia has pledged to support the Afghan government police of durable peace and stability in the war-hit country, the National Security Council (NSC) said on Saturday.

In a press release issued here, the NSC said that Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed the commitment at a meeting with National Security Advisor, Mohammad Haneef Atmar in Moscow.

During the meeting, bilateral relations, political links, a joint fight against terrorism, regional economic projects and their effective implementation were discussed, the statement added.

“Afghanistan considers Russian a key partner in the region and Moscow’s cooperation on the war against terrorism very important,” the statement quoted the visiting advisor as saying.

In a separate statement, the NSC said Atmar also met the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). “We maintain sustained dialogue with our Afghan friends and with you personally.

“We communicate with you regularly in your various capacities,” Lavrov told Atmar. “Russian remained in favour of developing further cooperation with Afghanistan in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres and in helping strengthen the combat capability of the Afghan security forces, with a view to ensuring security in your country.”

He added it was important to continue talking about ways to promote national reconciliation in Afghanistan. “In recent months, we have taken a whole number of active moves in cooperation with Afghanistan and key outside players.

“We are planning additional steps in this direction, and we hope to mobilise the will of the international community to move along this path,” he said.

Both sides also discussed several other issues, including organized crime, human trafficking, and terrorism. “Being a CSTO observer Afghanistan believe in a joint strategy against common threats,” Atmar added.

He said Afghanistan was prepared to jointly work with the CSTO for regional stability. CSTO was established in 1992 and currently Russian, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan are its full members.

Atmar’s visit to Moscow has come at a time when Russia showed readiness to help Afghanistan and also seems interesting to be involved in the ongoing conflict from near. Russian officials also confirmed they established contacts with the Taliban insurgents aimed at convincing the group’s leaders to join the table of talks with the Afghan government.