Russia seeks cooperation with India over Afghanistan

youngindian

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July 22nd, 2009


Phuket (Thailand), July 22 (IANS) With Russia backing the US military offensive in Afghanistan, Moscow Wednesday sought security cooperation with New Delhi to fight the growing regional threat from the Taliban and allied Islamic militants when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov here.


The two ministers also discussed enhanced counter-terror cooperation and touched upon other areas of bilateral ties like civil nuclear energy, defence and trade.

Krishna is visiting this Thai island resort for talks with his counterparts from 16 countries of the East Asia Summit (EAS), setting the stage for India’s seventh summit with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in October.

His meeting with Lavrov, his first after becoming India’s foreign minister in May, came close on the heels of his discussions with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Delhi Monday in which the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region figured prominently.

Like the US, Russia sees India as a valuable partner in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan, reliable sources with access to both sides said. India has already pledged $1.2 billion for various reconstruction activities in that country.

In the past, India and Russia have cooperated on Afghanistan with both backing the Northern Alliance in the fight against the then Taliban regime in Kabul.

Ever since US President Barak Obama unveiled his ‘AfPak policy’ a few months ago, which involved setting up a regional contact group comprising major regional players having influence over Afghanistan, the US and Russia are trying to intensify cooperation.

The US is also seeking a greater Indian role in its AfPak policy, a message Clinton conveyed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Krishna in New Delhi.

In a major breakthrough, the US reached an agreement with Russia last week allowing the former the right to fly over Russian territory as it transports military equipment and personnel to support American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

According to the White House, the accord will permit 4,500 flights per year, saving the US government $133 million annually in fuel, maintenance and other transportation costs.

In the past few months, Russia has become proactive on Afghanistan, especially after five militants, all Russian citizens, were shot and killed at a military checkpoint near Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan July 16.

The incident brought to the fore the threat of a pan-Islamic militant network in Central Asia, posing a direct threat to Russia’s interests.

With the increased activity of militants fleeing the crackdown on the Taliban and its allies, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will meet in Dushanbe on July 28 to flesh out plans to increase regional cooperation on trade and counterterrorism.

Russia seeks cooperation with India over Afghanistan | Sindh Today - Online News
 
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Russia, India and Iran had their own meeting over Afghanistan a few months ago, this might be a continuation??
 

Antimony

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May it be politically correct for India to make a show of going alone in Afghanistan, given the bad rap that Russia has among the Afghanis?

Any cooperation can continue to hapen in the backend
 
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True India is probably one of the few countries the afghans can trust, but backing of the leaders by Iran, India and Russia will help Afghanistan stay stable and out of the nefarious pakistani designs.
 

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