Russia considering Afghanistan’s request to equip Afghan forces: NSC

Mi-25-AfghanistanKABUL: The Office of the National Security Adviser of Afghanistan has said Russia is considering a request by the government of Afghanistan to equip the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

NSC spokesman Tawab Ghorzang said Afghanistan and Russia are on the same page to increase the capabilities of the Afghan forces who are on the front line fighting the regional and international terrorism.

He said Russia has promised to assess the request by Afghanistan to equip the Afghan forces and the officials of the two countries are having similar views to eliminate the menance of terrorism from the region and from Afghanistan.

“The Afghan government believes that the Afghan forces should be equipped to fight the menace of terrorism in Afghanistan in the region and the officials in the two countries are having identical views and an assessment in this regard would be launched,” Ghorzang said.

The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar left for Russia last week to meet with the Russian officials and seek the country’s support to Afghan forces besides expanding bilateral ties between the two countries.

“We need combat helicopters and other weapons to rebuff terrorist groups acting in the Afghan territory more efficiently,” Atmar told the local news agency, TASS.

Atmar further added “Now we have obsolete modifications of Russian combat helicopters. We would like to replace them by more modern Mi-35 rotorcraft and to organize training of pilots and technical personnel to service these helicopters. This is issue is of top priority importance for us at the moment.”

He said a symbiosis of terrorist groups, including the Taliban movement, militants enjoying support from Pakistan’s and Central Asian radical Islamic organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State, are acting in the territory of Afghanistan.

“In this sense, we have a common enemy with Russia and other countries of the region,” he said. “However we have no common strategy of countering this enemy. We think that it is necessary to involve countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the elaboration of such strategy, and Russia has a special role in these efforts.” -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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