|Visit to Afghanistan of Russian|
|The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, paid a working visit to Kabul on March 16, where he was received by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA), Hamid Karzai, held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and met with Interior Minister Hanif Atmar, Upper House Speaker Sebghatollah Mojaddedi and Lower House Speaker Yunus Qanuni.
A thorough exchange of views took place on developments in Afghanistan in the run-up to presidential and provincial elections. The sides concurred that the executive and legislative branches should cooperate constructively during the election campaign to stabilize the domestic political situation.
The requirement in a further buildup of international efforts to assist the Afghan government in ensuring security and economic and social reconstruction was emphasized. Lavrov informed the Afghan leadership of the realization of the Russia-NATO arrangement on the transit via Russia of nonmilitary cargo intended for the needs of foreign military contingents in Afghanistan. The Russian side welcomed the agreement on the coordination of combat actions reached between the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the International Security Assistance Force recently.
The sides noted the special significance of regional, including Afghan-Pakistani cooperation in the fight against terrorism and narco-crime as well as of the upcoming special conference on Afghanistan under the aegis of the SCO, designed to impart a new impulse to interaction on the Afghan track with the participation of Afghanistan’s neighbors.
Both sides declared their desire for wider bilateral political and inter-parliamentary ties, and discussed prospects for intensifying Russian participation in Afghan economic rehabilitation projects.
Lavrov and Spanta signed an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trade in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors. The Ministers noted the significance of this document serving as a stimulus for the organization of purposeful joint activities in this hugely important direction.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation took part in the opening ceremony for an archival materials exhibition dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Afghan diplomatic relations.