Sochi summit for jt strategy on anti-terror, regional security

Top leaders of Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan on Wednesday agreed to intensify their joint strategy against terrorism and drug trafficking at a key quadrilateral summit in Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Moscow: Top leaders of Russia, Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Tajikistan on Wednesday agreed to intensify their
joint strategy against terrorism and drug trafficking and
launch joint developmental projects in the volatile region at
a key quadrilateral summit in Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The situation in Afghanistan, fight against
international terrorism and illegal drug trafficking were the
focus of quadrilateral talks between Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev and his counterparts from Afghanistan, Pakistan and
Tajikistan, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters
after the one-day summit in Sochi.
Medvedev, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zardari and Tajik head of state Emomali
Rahmon today agreed to jointly work on these issues.

"The four leaders have signed a statement expressing
to jointly work on these issues," Lavrov was quoted as saying
Russia Today TV.

According to official news agency ITAR-TASS, Medvedev,
who sees economic development of the region as the key to end
terror threat, urged his interlocutors to "revisit" Soviet-era
economic and infrastructural project in their countries, in
which Moscow could actively take part.

Lavrov said that after their second meeting, the
Quartet has agreed to have regular meetings of their economy
and foreign ministers in this format to promote cooperation
and development.

He said at the proposal of Tajikistan, the next
Quadrilateral summit will be held in Dushanbe next year.

Earlier today, the Russian leader had bilateral
meetings with Karzai and Zardari, at which he expressed
Moscow`s willingness to closely interact with them in the
Afghan peace process and the development of energy, transport
and other infrastructure projects.

NTV channel in its comments said there are a lot of
differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan as Karzai has
directly accused Islamabad of backing Taliban opposing his

Russia promised all possible support to Pakistan in
dealing with catastrophic floods, even as the second Russian
Il-76 cargo plane with emergency relief was set for Islamabad.

"This is a severe disaster which caused many deaths
and unfortunately brought great damage. We mourn with you and
are ready to provide assistance to the Pakistani people. You
can count on us," Medvedev told Zardari,

"We would like to continue cooperating in fighting
terrorism, drug trafficking and international crimes. That`s
why everything we discussed earlier could be continued, even
though there is a good political dialogue, it is very
important to develop economic ties," Medvedev said in his
televised remarks at bilateral meeting with Zardari.

Medevedev also assured his Afghan counterpart of
all help in combating terrorism and restoring peace in the
war-torn country.

"Russia definitely supports efforts of Afghanistan in
restoring civic peace in the country," Medvedev told Karzai
during the meeting.

"We back the struggle of the Afghan government against
terrorism and are ready to provide aid in this direction," the
Russian President said.

He also pledged economic and other assistance to
Afghanistan in its developmental projects.
Medvedev, however, said the problem of illegal drug
trafficking from Afghanistan is a matter of concern for

"However, it would be wrong to project it as only
Afghanistan`s problem, this is a regional problem, a problem
for Russia also. We will give you all possible help in
fighting it," Medvedev said in his televised remarks.

At the first quadrilateral summit in Tajik capital
Dushanbe in July 2009, Russia had proposed to develop regional
cooperation, trade and economic interaction in the new format,
including the development of infrastructure for transport and
energy linkages between Central Asia and South Asia (CASA).

Pakistan President Zardari underlined the need for
greater cooperation among the regional countries to
effectively tackle the complex challenges of security and

"Terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, organized
crime, need to be seen in terms of their root causes. They
thrive on ignorance, deprivation and poverty," Zardari said at
the second Quadrilateral summit in Sochi today.

"Our countries need greater cooperation to
effectively tackle them," he was quoted as saying by the
Pakistan government-run APP news agency.

Zardari also underlined the need for deepening
cooperation economic and commercial relations to boost energy
and infrastructure connectivity.

He said Pakistan recognises Russia`s key role in
promoting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and
our extended neighborhood.

"We are meeting in Sochi at a sobering and tragic
moment. Our region is once again struck by unprecedented
natural disasters", he said with reference to the worst ever
devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan.

On Afghanistan, Zardari said Pakistan has a keen
interest in early restoration of stability and peace in the
restive nation.

"We fully support the Kabul Process. Afghanistan
needs continued engagement of the international community for
ensuring stability and promoting development," he underlined.

On the reintegration and reconciliation process
initiated by the Afghan government, Zardari said such
political process has to be comprehensive, inclusive,

The President said all neighboring and regional
countries must respect the principles of sovereignty,
territorial integrity and non-interference in internal


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