Afghan peace most pressing task facing SCO: Russia
KABUL (Pajhwok): Coordinated political assistance to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan has been one of the most topical tasks facing the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday,
Speaking at the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s defense ministers’ meeting in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, the Russian defence minister said the Islamic State (IS) group was gaining a foothold in Afghanistan, including in the north of the country.
Therefore, he said, coordinated political assistance to restoration of peace and stability was one of the most pressing tasks facing the SCO.
“Not so long ago, clandestine Al-Qaeda was seen as the main threat. Now Islamic State, operating not covertly but in the eyes of the whole world, is seizing weapons arsenals and oilfields, taking control of sizable territories, proclaiming them caliphate, and actively implanting its practices there," Lavrov said.
He said Moscow was ready to strengthen constructive cooperation with Kabul in all spheres, adding particular attention should be paid to cooperation on fight against drug plantations.
He said security in Central Asia largely depended on concerted action by the armed forces of Russia and Tajikistan.
"In the context of the international coalition’s pullout from Afghanistan our armed forces must be prepared for any march of events, including the most unfavorable one," he said at a meeting with Tajikistan’s Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo.
Mirzo said the situation in Afghanistan’s provinces bordering Tajikistan was deteriorating and required coordinated action in the military-technical sphere in the framework of the CSTO.
"In this context, of particular concern is the situation in neighboring Afghanistan affecting considerably the regional security," he told the defence ministers’ meeting.
The CSTO includes Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
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