US, Russia to work together on Afghanistan: Lavrov

US and Russia have agreed to continue to work together on Afghanistan, noting that it is in their mutual interest that this war-torn South Asian country poses less serious threat in terms of terrorism.

Washington: US and Russia have agreed to continue to work together on Afghanistan, noting that it is in their mutual interest that this war-torn South Asian country poses less serious threat in terms of terrorism.

"We noted that it serves our mutual interest to make sure that this country poses less serious threat in terms of terrorism, organised crime, drug industry," the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, told reporters at a joint news conference here yesterday after his talks with his American counterparts.

"US colleagues thanked us for supporting their efforts and for agreement on transit between Russia and US came into effect -over 3,400 transit flights took place, and over 300,000 US troops were transported, which speaks for itself," he said addressing a joint news conference with the Russian Defence Minister, Sergey Shoygu.

"We need to continue cooperation in the field, especially in light of the forthcoming 2014 withdrawal of the American contingent and the elections.

To political settlement, we need to find format that would allow Afghanis to decide on their own future and make sure that they live in a country where all minorities would live in comfort and safely," he said.

Shoygu said the two countries during their day long meetings with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, discussed a number of issues related to the post-2014 in Afghanistan because a large-scale withdrawal will begin.

"We spoke about preparations for withdrawal and future prospects.

I told my colleague that we have certain concerns, about Afghani neighbours, namely Tajikistan and Kyrgyz, they have concerns, and they`re trying to take certain steps to guarantee their own security," he said.

Shoygu said he briefed them about the Soviet experience of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, about the preparations it made, about the training for the military, the police forces.

Later talking to reporters a Senior Administration official said that the US delegation expressed appreciation for the support that Russia has provided, whether it`s in the Northern Distribution Network or the assistance it has provided to the Afghan National Security Forces.

"Both delegations agreed on the importance of sustained support for Afghanistan`s security, as well as political and economic transition, and agreed that combating narcotics was an area that we should look at and how we can better help the Government of Afghanistan in this area as well," the official said.

PTI

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