Terrorism a threat to region: President Ghani told Russian NSA

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President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Russia National Security Adviser (NSA) Nikolai Patrushev, who arrived in Kabul on Tuesday, held talks on various issues from combating terrorism to enhancing bilateral economic ties.

President Ghani welcomed the Russia Federation NSA and his delegation at the Presidential Palace, a statement from the president’s media office said. The two sides discussed bilateral relations, the war against terrorism, regional cooperation, economic and transit trade issues, the statement said.

President Ghani called Patrushev’s visit as beneficial for strengthening relations between the two countries in diverse fields.

Patrushev extended his condolences to the victims of recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and thanked the Afghan government for the warm reception. He said their visit to Afghanistan was aimed at discussing Russia’s relations with Afghan leaders and organizations. He said Russia wanted a stable Afghanistan and Moscow was ready to extend every kind of support to Kabul in its fight against terrorism.

He said they wanted good relations with Afghanistan and wished increased trade and economic relations which were crucial to peace and stability.

President Ghani said Kabul had taken practical steps to have good relations with all neighbors. He said Afghanistan welcomed bilateral cooperation with Russia in diverse fields, especially economic and trade. He hoped Patrushev’s visit would usher into a new era of bilateral cooperation in various sectors.

The president said they wanted relations with Russia based on mutual interests and a joint fight against common threat.

President Ghani said a stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in the interest of the regional countries and Kabul wanted the consensus on regional cooperation in various fields to be further consolidated.

President Ghani said terrorism not only threatened Afghanistan, but the region and the entire world. Therefore the menace required a unified strategy to be fought.

The president said Russia’s experience and information sharing could prove vital in combating terrorist groups posing threats to Afghanistan and the region.

Afghanistan was front-line state in the international war against terrorism, with its forces bravely combating the scourge, the president said. He said the Afghan forces had strengthened as compared to the past and the air force strength tripled in order to vanquish terrorists.

Patrushev arrived in Kabul at the invitation of his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar. Patrushev and Atmar discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation and the desire to improve and expand cooperation between the two important partners, a statement from Atmar office said.

They also had detailed discussions on regional security and stability and the threats facing the two countries and the region.

They agreed that collective and sustained efforts were required to fight terrorism and combat narcotics trafficking as one of the main destabilizing factor in the region.

They also touched upon economic cooperation between the two countries as a critical element for promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region and stressed on undertaking joint economic initiatives.

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