Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has warned the war in Iraq may have serious consequences for the Afghan settlement process. Ivanov issued the warning in his opening remarks at talks with visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal in Moscow on Friday.
The Minister appreciated the results of the 6th meeting of the Russian-Indian Working Group for Countering Terrorism and the Drug Threat Emanating from Afghanistan. The Russian delegation to the talks was headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov. His counterpart was Sibal.
Ivanov said, "These consultations take on a particular significance against the background of the events unfolding in Iraq." He stressed Russia condemned all forms of terrorism and believed every measure must be taken to thwart cross-border terrorism and other manifestations of that evil.
Sibal, for his part, pointed out that India and Russia held nearly identical views on all international issues, especially international terrorism, a problem they both have to confront and "see the danger of international terrorism for the world at large, not just specific countries." According to the Russian translation of his remarks, the Indian diplomat noted New Delhi "was not quite satisfied with the position of some countries on that issue, because those countries tend to apply double standards in that case." Meanwhile, he indicated, the sources, the infrastructure and the networks of international terrorism remain the same, bringing misery to the whole world. These issues, therefore, must not be treated in isolation.
"Sadly," said Sibal, "the epicentre of terrorism lies in our region. That is Afghanistan, Pakistan, but by no means Iraq."
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