Moscow supports Uzbekistan’s initiative to host Afghanistan conference in March

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MOSCOW, Feb 23, 2018 (BSS/TASS) – Russia supports Uzbekistan’s proposal to host an international conference on Afghanistan entitled ‘Peace Process. Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction’, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after talks with Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov.

“The idea of holding the forum was put forward by out Uzbek friends at a special session of the United Nations Security Council in January. Today we have been discussing preparations for that milestone and major event,” Lavrov said.

“Besides, we pointed out that all current formats need to be mobilized to push for the solution to the Afghan crisis,” he added. “Among them are so- called Moscow format and the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group [Shanghai Cooperation Organization plus Afghanistan].”

The Russian top diplomat pointed out that “Afghanistan is a thorn in the side for both our countries and other regional nations, and what is more, not only inside the region but also beyond.”

“We are concerned how the presence of the so-called Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) is being increased, especially in Afghanistan’s northern areas bordering the CIS countries (an assembly of post-Soviet states – TASS),” Lavrov added. “A network of militant training camps is being arranged there. Unfortunately, among them are natives of our countries.”.