4-Nation Pact To Fight Terrorism

Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan agreed to step up joint fight against terrorism and narcotics at a quadripartite summit on Wednesday. Terrorism and drug trafficking pose a “threat to peace and stability,” they said in a joint statement adopted at their second one-day meeting, in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. The four countries will intensify joint efforts in combating terrorism and narcotics in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after the summit. The four leaders discussed undertaking joint economic projects in power generation, transport infrastructure and mining, said Mr. Lavrov. He singled out such projects as restoring the Salang tunnel in northern Afghanistan and rebuilding the country's hydropower plants. Four-way summits will be supplemented with regular meetings of the Economic and Foreign Ministers, he said. The third summit would be held in Tajikistan, he said. Russia pledged to provide a free shipment of firearms and munitions for the Afghan police and reaffirmed readiness to sell 20 helicopters to Afghanistan. At a bilateral meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pressed the need “to continue cooperating in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and international crimes”. The two leaders also discussed “revitalisation of trade and economic links, and undertaking joint projects in fuel and energy sphere, metallurgy, railway transport, as well as facilitation of investment and development of business-to-business contacts,” said the Kremlin press service.