Russia Stresses Stronger Security Cooperation with Afghanistan
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Russian foreign minister has underlined Moscow’s determination to bolster security and economic cooperation with its “long-time partner” Afghanistan.
Speaking to reporters following a Tuesday meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Salahuddin Rabbani, in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov said Russia would support Kabul to stabilize the situation in the country.
“Afghanistan is a long-time and close partner of Russia. Today, we reaffirmed our interest in further developing cooperation in political, military, socio-economic and humanitarian spheres,” Lavrov said, Press TV reported.
The Russian foreign minister expressed hope for the establishment of a more cooperative partnership with the new administration of US President Donald Trump regarding regional security, including in Afghanistan, and the campaign against Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Rabbani, for his part, stressed that Afghanistan would cooperate with Russia to tackle the existing common security issues.
“We agreed that the interests of Afghanistan and Russia in ensuring regional stability are intertwined,” he added.
Russia to host Afghanistan conference: Lavrov
Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavorv pointed to Russia’s plan to convene a conference of regional powers on Afghanistan in Moscow in mid-February, with representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran and India.
“We are expecting that our partners will be represented at a high level. Most have confirmed their participation,” Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister stressed that “the Taliban must be included in a constructive dialogue” to help find a solution to resolve the security crisis in Afghanistan against the backdrop of the expanding presence of Daesh terrorists in the country.
According to a UN report released on Monday, the number of the civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose by three percent in 2016 compared to the previous year.
The report said that between January 1 and December 31, 2016, the UN registered 3,498 civilian deaths and 7,920 injuries.
The deaths were caused by the terrorist activities of Daesh and Taliban, airstrikes meant to target militants, and unexploded ordnance particularly affecting children.
Afghanistan has been plagued by violence ever since US-led forces attacked the country in 2001. The Taliban, who were removed from power as a result of the invasion, have been engaging in militancy ever since. Meanwhile, the Daesh terrorist group has also recently gained a foothold in Afghanistan and has been seeking to spread its terrorist activities to more areas in the country.