India, Russia conditionally back Afghan talks
MOSCOW/NEW DELHI (PAN) India and Russia on Monday said they supported the Afghanistan government's efforts to hold dialogue with the armed opposition forces if the guerrillas respected the Afghan Constitution.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met in Moscow for the 14th India-Russia Annual Summit, in a joint statement said they approved Kabul’s efforts to begin an Afghan-led dialogue on reconciliation with the armed opposition forces.
“These armed groups should respect the principles adopted by the international community, namely, to recognise the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to renounce violence and sever ties with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations."
The two leaders said they "were pleased to note that there was a growing understanding in the world of the essential role played by the states neighbouring Afghanistan as well as by the countries and organizations in the region."
"The sides strongly call for the development and improvement of interaction within the existing frameworks of regional cooperation, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and dialogue within RIC and the Istanbul Process," said their joint statement.
"The sides recognize terrorism as the major threat to Afghanistan's security and stability that jeopardizes peace in the region and in the whole world.”
They stressed the regional aspects of terrorism and extremism, emphasizing the necessity of joint and coordinated efforts and cooperation between the states of the region, especially taking into account the expected drawdown of international forces in 2014 in order to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including elimination of terrorist safe havens and cutting off financial support to terrorism," the statement said.
Both the nations expressed concern about the scale of illicit drug production in Afghanistan and underlined that revenue from drug trafficking were one of the main sources of financing terrorist organizations.
The sides agreed to continue taking effective measures to combat illicit drug trafficking of Afghan origin and to focus on permanent and active support for the Paris Pact initiative.
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