A delegation of representatives of Russian ministries and departments arrived in Dushanbe on Saturday. It will subsequently leave for Kabul to establish contacts with the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, the Afghan embassy in Dushanbe reported. The embassy also noted that a special unit of the Northern Alliance would ensure the security of the Russian delegation. Afghan diplomats stressed that this foreign governmental delegation will be the first to visit Kabul, which had been liberated from the Taliban, to establish working contacts with representatives of the legitimate government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. Sergei Ivanov, the Russian Defence Minister, said that the delegation included representatives of the Russian Defence, Foreign and Emergencies Ministries. The interdepartmental coordination group for Afghanistan has been set up under the aegis of the Russian Defence Ministry in line with the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin before the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan began. The group has included representatives of all Russian power departments, as well as those from the Foreign and Emergencies Ministries because "the humanitarian aspect of the operation is as important as the military one," Sergei Ivanov stressed.
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