02:37 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Afghan border police stand guard near the Torkham crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Nangarhar province on May 12, 2016.

    Pakistani Minister Wants Russia to Play Major Role in Stabilizing Afghanistan

    © AFP 2019 / NOORULLAH SHIRZADA
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    The Pakistani defense minister said Wednesday he would like Russia to play a greater role in stabilizing the situation in conflict-ridden Afghanistan.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia should spearhead the process of bringing stability to Afghanistan, while Pakistan will support all of Russia's initiatives towards reaching this goal, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said Wednesday at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of VI Moscow Conference on International Security.

    "Russia should take the leading role to establish stability in Afghanistan… I want to assure you that Pakistan will always overwhelmingly support Russia's initiative aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan," Asif said.

    The defense minister further noted that he attended the Moscow conference four times over the past six years, and that during this time, the global security situation had improved.

    "The fact that you organize conferences and discussions on Afghanistan plays a very important role in bringing peace in this region… and we hope that discussions at the conference will lead to the desired result so that we will be able to achieve great progress in Afghanistan," Asif added.

    According to the minister, the meeting with Shoigu was useful, with all sides expressing their commitment to the continuation of joint counter-terrorism efforts.

    "We came to the conclusion that our military cooperation and the fact that we will receive military equipment would lead to greater progress in the fight against terrorism," Asif said.

    Afghanistan is suffering from unstable political, social and security issues due to the activity of the Taliban movement and Daesh terrorist groups, both outlawed in Russia.

    Earlier in February, Moscow hosted the fifth Afghanistan peace conference, which was attended by 11 countries, including Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Afghanistan and a number of Central Asian states.

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    Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Sergei Shoigu, Afghanistan, Russia
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