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    UN SHOULD LEAD RESTORATION OF AFGHANISTAN

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    NEW DELHI, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti) -- Russia comes out for early restoration of the independent and neutral Afghanistan, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov at the sixth Asian security conference in New Delhi.

    He stressed that the United Nations should play the leading and co-ordinating role.

    Fedotov expressed the hope that the new constitution of Afghanistan approved in January and the forthcoming general elections in the country would ensure the formation of a representative leadership.

    He called drug trafficking as a threat to international efforts to stabilise the situation in Afghanistan.

    The deputy minister also believes that it is necessary to continue the regime of sanctions with respect to the Taliban, the al-Qaeda terrorist network and similar groups, introduced by the UN Security Council.

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