The conference on Afghanistan under the aegis of the United Nations has opened in Bonn. Speaking at its opening ceremony, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer said that today Afghanistan has a chance to establish peace and accord in the country. The conference which takes place in the Petersberg residence is attended, apart from the delegation of the Northern Alliance, by representatives of former King of Afghanistan Zahir Shah (the Rome group), delegates of the Afghan Diaspora from Cyprus (the Cyprus group) and representatives of the Pashtoons (the Peshawar group). Spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zamir Kabulov said yesterday that Moscow hoped for the success of the conference. According to him, the question of the future government will have to be decided by the Afghans themselves. However, Russia is interested in having at its borders a peaceful Afghanistan whose territory would not be a source of war or conflicts. Zamir Kabulov, vice director of the third Asia department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, heads the group of the Ministry's high ranking officials who have arrived in Germany "to conduct lobby activity with all interested delegations in support of the United Nations's efforts for an inter-Afghan settlement."
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987