The Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan welcomes and backs the agreements reached by representatives of Afghanistan's political forces at the negotiations in Bonn, says a statement of the Tajik Foreign Ministry, circulated on Thursday. Viewing the agreement on forming a provisional government of Afghanistan as an important step towards a lasting peace in that country, Tajikistan sets high store by the spirit of compromise manifested by all Afghan delegations at the Bonn talks, stresses the document. An important step towards the unification of entire Afghan society is the fact that the provisional government represents virtually all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan -- eleven Pashtuns, eight Tajiks, five Hazaras, three Uzbeks and others, stresses the Tajik Foreign Ministry in this communique. Throughout all the years of military-political confrontation in Afghanistan, Tajikistan has been holding a principled position as regards non-recognition of the Taliban and provision of support for the Northern Alliance. Tajikistan believes that the present makeup of the provisional government is quite lawful, reflecting the real correlation of political forces in Afghanistan. The republic of Tajikistan declares all-round support for the political-mediatory efforts of the United Nations, directed towards restoration of a lasting peace in Afghanistan, creation of a stable state focused on respect for the rights and interests of the Afghan people, societal freedoms and human dignity, stresses the statement of the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea