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Af-Pak meet: Security, anti-terror strategy top agenda

August 17, 2010 17:45 IST

Security issues in the restive Af-Pak region and an effective strategy to combat global terrorism and drug-trafficking top the agenda of a key quadrilateral summit to be hosted by President Dmitry Medvedev in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday.

The quadrilateral summit -- including presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia -- will discuss issues of security in Af-Pak region, effective combat against international terrorism and drug-trafficking in Sochi, according to sources.

This would be the second meeting between Medvedev and his Afghan, Pakistani and Tajik counterparts -- Hamid Karzai, Asif Ali Zardari and Emomali Rahmon in the quadrilateral format.

The Russian president will also have bilaterals with them on the sidelines of Sochi meet, the Kremlin said.

Embattled President Zardari, who is under fire over his handling of the flood tragedy at home, will be in Sochi only for few hours.

Russia, which has air lifted the first planeload of relief supplies to the flood victims in Pakistan, could offer financial and other assistance to Islamabad during Medvedev-Zardari meeting on Wednesday.

Earlier Zardari had canceled his official Russia visit scheduled for May 'due to domestic constraints', foreign ministry sources here said.

"Russia could act as a donor of economic, social and military-political security for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan," Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, was quoted as saying by the official news agency ITAR-TASS.

Medvedev, who first met with Zardari and Karzai in bilateral and trilateral formats at Yekaterinburg in 2008 on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, had underscored the infrastructural and economic development of Af-Pak region as one of the key elements of anti-terror strategy.

At the first quadrilateral summit in Tajik capital Dushanbe in July 2009, Russia had proposed to develop regional cooperation, trade and economic interaction in the new format, including the development of infrastructure for transport and energy linkages between Central Asia and South Asia.

According to the Russian news agency, under the regional power project CASA-1000 Tajikistan will supply electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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