US, NATO must bear cost of Afghan reconstruction, says Putin

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Vladimir Putin

ANKARA:  Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday urged the US and NATO countries to bear the cost of reconstruction of Afghanistan, according to Russian media.

Putin, who is in self-isolation as a measure against COVID-19, attended the two summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)—held in Dushanbe capital of Tajikistan through a video link.

Voicing support for the contacts between the SCO and Afghanistan, Putin stressed that the organization should double effort to prevent the threats of terrorism, drug trafficking, and religious extremism originating from Afghanistan.

He also noted that the US and NATO, which he said were mainly responsible for the situation in Afghanistan, should bear the cost of reconstruction of the war-torn country.

“We support the decision to start Iran’s SCO membership process, which has been submitted for approval to the SCO Council of Heads of State,” Putin added.

Expressing serious concern over the situation in the Panjshir Valley and generally the latest developments in Afghanistan, he called for closer cooperation between the armed forces of SCO member countries.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev proposed the establishment of a hub in the southeastern province of Almaty for international aid to Afghanistan.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev, whose country also borders Afghanistan, called for the unfreezing of the country’s assets kept in foreign banks to facilitate dialogue with the Taliban-led government in Kabul.

Praising SCO’s contribution to regional security since its formation, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov called for establishing a security belt in the region.-AA

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