Russia, Afghanistan discuss beefing up anti-drug efforts

10:40, November 04, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Wednesday had a telephone conversation initiated from Kabul, calling for stronger counter-narcotics efforts.

"Speaking of the joint response to challenges and threats, Dmitry Medvedev and Hamid Karzai spoke particularly of the recent counter-narcotics operation during which a large amount of drugs and equipment for their production was destroyed," reported the Kremlin website.

"It was noted specifically that interaction between anti-drug services of Afghanistan, the U.S., and Russia was for the first time practiced during the operation. The presidents called for further intensification of joint efforts and better coordination in this field," it added.

Karzai spoke of intensifying cooperation with Russia and raising its role in resolving problems Afghanistan and the entire region faced. He thanked Russia for its assistance in various spheres.

The two leaders also discussed steps to intensify mutual trade and economic cooperation.

They discussed ways of keeping up cooperation between the two countries within bilateral and multilateral formats, which were agreed at their meeting in Sochi in August.

Previous reports said the first-ever joint Russian-U.S. anti- drug operation in Afghanistan, which was conducted on Oct. 28, led to the destruction of four heroin labs and seizure of nearly one ton of illicit drug.

However, on Oct. 30, Karzai's office released a statement, demanding NATO-led coalition force in Afghanistan to explain the joint anti-narcotics raid while condemning the arbitrary action as "a blatant violation of Afghanistan's sovereignty and international laws."

"The government of Afghanistan has maintained friendly relations with the Russian Federation and seeks to further expand it in various areas including in the common fight against narcotics. However, Afghanistan wants this joint struggle to be enhanced on the basis of bilateral agreement between the two countries," the statement added.

Source: Xinhua


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