Afghanistan says Russia will provide military aid

Russia has accepted a request from President Hamid Karzai to provide military aid to Afghanistan, the Afghan government said on Monday.

Afghanistan says Russia will provide military aid

Russia has accepted a request from President Hamid Karzai to provide military aid to Afghanistan, the Afghan government said on Monday.

The move comes amid complaints by many Afghans that NATO and the United States, who have thousands of troops in Afghanistan, have been slow to equip Afghan national forces to save security.

Karzai made the request by a letter to Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev in November 2008, the presidential palace said in a statement.

"Medvedev, in a letter addressed to Karzai, has said that Russia is ready to help Afghanistan in the defensive sectors," the statement said.

Medvedev said defensive ties between Kabul and Moscow would result in effective cooperation on both sides and in the restoration of security in the region, the statement said.

Russia was keen for cooperation with Afghanistan in other areas too, the statement quoted Medvedev as saying in the letter.

Chief presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said despite Karzai's call on Russia for defensive aid, Afghanistan was committed to its ties with NATO and the United States.

"The equipment of our national army, our helicopters and tanks are Russian-made so this (request) has a technical aspect. We have strategic commitment to NATO and the United States," Hamidzada told Reuters.

Some 70,000 foreign troops under U.S. and NATO military command are stationed in Afghanistan, and Washington is expected to send up to 30,000 extra forces by summer to the country.

Reuters
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2009, 15:51
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