India, Russia support Afghan peace process

India and Russia on Friday extended their support to Afghanistan in its quest to establish a democratic state free from terrorism.

Moscow: India and Russia on Friday extended
their support to Afghanistan in its quest to establish a
democratic state free from terrorism, outside interference, as
they backed Kabul`s overtures for dialogue with "armed
An Indo-Russian joint statement issued after Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s talks with Russian leadership said,
"Both the countries expressed concern over escalation of
extremist activity throughout the territory of the country,
including previously relatively peaceful provinces, drug
production growth, and unresolved socio-economic problems."

"The sides expressed their readiness to continue
promoting the establishment of Afghanistan as a peaceful,
democratic and independent state, free from terrorism, outside
interference and drug-related crimes, with a sustainable
economy," it said.

Supporting the transfer of responsibility for the
situation in the country to the National Security Forces, the
sides urge to intensify efforts to build up their capacity.

The sides believe that the international military
presence in Afghanistan should be linked to the security
situation on the ground. Afghanistan has stepped up efforts to
engage with Taliban amid reports that authorities are giving a
nod for the establishment of an office by the insurgent group
in a Muslim country.

"India and the Russian Federation support the efforts
taken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
to establish a peaceful dialogue with the armed opposition,
provided that the process goes on under the Afghan leadership
and that the fighters meet the redlines enunciated by the
international community: the recognition of the Constitution
of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, renunciation of
violence and breaking with al-Qaeda and other terrorist
organisations," the statement said.
They consider it necessary to continue the UN Security
Council sanctions regime as an essential anti-terror tool.

"The sides noted with satisfaction the growing global
understanding of the important role played by the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan neighbouring states, states and
organisations of the region, and urge to focus the efforts in
the region on the development and improvement of sound
structures of regional cooperation, like the SCO and SAARC
amongst others

They expect that the international community in their
efforts in this regard will respect the decisions taken by the
countries of the region in the framework of these
organisations," the statement said.


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