Russia against artificial Afghan exit timetable
KABUL (PAN): Russia on Friday said it was against the artificial determination of any timetables for coalition forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, asking the international community to boost the fighting ability of Afghan forces.
“Our fundamental position is that the foreign military presence in this country must be put to an end sooner or later,” the Russian embassy in Kabul said in a statement. It said before this moment, the international community must make all necessary efforts to boost the fighting ability of the Afghan national security forces to the extant that they could independently maitain security for the whole of their country.
As for the statements made by the US Defense Minister Leon Panetta, on the background of the decision to withdraw the main part of the NATO/ISAF forces by the end of 2014 taken at the Lisbon NATO Summit, his words need additional explanations – first of all, on the mandate, exact options and aims of the US military presence in Afghanistan after the mentioned period within the framework of the Afghan-US agreements which are to come out soon, the statement said.
“We regularly discuss this topic in the contacts with our American partners and within the Russia – NATO Council dialogue. There are lots of principal questions - for example, what aims and what mandate the United States are going to leave their military presence in Afghanistan with. No reasonable explanations still,” it concluded.
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