#35 - JRL 2009-198 - JRL Home

Russian foreign minister warns against 'endless' US presence in Afghanistan

Moscow, 27 October: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that an indefinite presence of American troops in Afghanistan will benefit neither Afghanistan nor the region as a whole.

"If someone is contemplating keeping the American presence inside Afghanistan for an endlessly long time, I do not think that these plans are, first, realistic and, second, will benefit Afghanistan and the entire region," he told journalists on Tuesday (27 October) on the way from Bangalore to Moscow.

Furthermore, in the opinion of the minister, a permanent US presence in the region is not in the interests of the United States either. "Afghanistan will not want to live under foreign occupation once the current phase
of Afghan conflict settlement is over," he said.

Lavrov expressed the hope that the US administration under Barack Obama would be paying greater attention to not just military, but also political aspects of the settlement.

He clarified that he was referring primarily to consolidation of all political forces in Afghanistan as well as an opportunity for all ethnic groups to play a role in Afghanistan's government. "This is an old issue. The Bush administration, while acknowledging in words that it was topical, was doing nothing in practice to facilitate it being resolved," Lavrov said.

He expressed the hope that the current US administration would "act differently and be using the capabilities of Afghanistan's neighbours and other players in the region".








Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter