Russia backs Afghan bid for SCO observer status
KABUL (PAN): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has lent his weight to Afghanistan's demand for the observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), President Hamid Karzai's office said on Thursday.
Karzai and his Russian counterpart met on Wednesday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the 10th SCO summit.
Karzai told the gathering: "So far Afghanistan has been participating in SCO summits as a guest state. Now we want Afghanistan to be declared as an observer state."
Medvedev said the status of Afghanistan be upgraded to the observer level. He hoped a decision on the demand would be taken after consultations among member states. The Afghan president thanked Russia for supporting his call.
Karzai welcomed the formation of a joint economic commission between the two countries. "The creation of the commission is an important step towards economic development of Afghanistan strengthening relations with Russia."
Medvedev pledged Russian support for reconstructing Afghanistan's war-crippled infrastructure.
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