Moscow/Beijing, May 22 : Afghanistan is a major source of terrorist threats for the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday, four days after he held consultation on the issue with India and China.
For the SCO member-states, the threat of terrorism and extremism comes first and foremost from Afghanistan’s territory. We are convinced that any unilateral attempts to solve the situation in the Islamic republic by force bypassing the norms and principles of the international law may only worsen the situation and create additional security risks, Patrushev said.
His comments followed talks India, China and Russia held on Afghanistan and exchanged views in the Russian capital on May 17.
India’s Deputy National Security Adviser Rajinder Khanna, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and Assistant to the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Venediktov consulted each other. Patrushev then held a group meeting with the delegation members of the three countries who took part in the consultation.
The three sides agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation under the frameworks of the SCO and the BRICS countries, and to hold the next round of consultation in due course, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
They also exchanged views on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and cooperation under the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS countries, reaching broad consensus, said the statement.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin at their informal summit in Sochi expressed concern over terrorism and radicalisation. In this context, they endorsed the importance of restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan in an atmosphere free from the threat of terrorism, and agreed to work together towards achieving this objective, said the Ministry of External Affairs.
Patrushev said Russia jointly with other SCO members had been calling for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan through political settlement led by Afghan citizens.
The Tashkent conference on Afghanistan on March 26-27 confirmed the need to step up multilateral cooperation, including in the SCO framework. We view this meeting, and also meetings in the framework of the Kabul process as a logical continuation of consultations as part of the Moscow format and the SCO-Afghanistan contact group, TASS news agency quoted Patrushev as saying.
Any initiatives on the Afghan track should take into account the interests of regional states and rule out the prospects of imposing unacceptable scenarios on them. In this context, we support the Chinese side’s proposal to hold the second meeting of the contact group in Beijing, he said.
The SCO was formed in Shanghai in 2001 by six founding states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
In 2017, India and Pakistan became full-fledged members.
Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.