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India, Russia agreed Afghanistan a serious issue: PM

December 17, 2011 21:46 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said both India and Russia are agreed that the Afghanistan problem is a "serious" issue, observing that whatever happens there is of deep interest to them and to all the neighbours of the strife-torn country.

Singh said the two countries should find a joint cooperative path to tackle this "difficult" problem. The prime minister was asked about the Afghan problem during his interaction with journalists.

On the issue of US-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) quitting Afghanistan, he said whether they will pull out their entire team or leave behind some people is not clear so far.

"As far as Russia and India are concerned, even after the American and other ISAF forces pull out of Afghanistan we have to recognise that Afghanistan happens to belong to a region where we all reside.

"Therefore whatever happens in Afghanistan is of deep interest to Russia, is of deep interest to India and deep interest to all the neighbours of Afghanistan," he added.

In his opening remarks, Singh said he was very satisfied with the results of the just concluded annual summit with Russia.

Singh also said that 2011 has been a year of active diplomacy for India, with its immediate neighbours in the subcontinent, with major powers, and with our extended neighbourhood in South-East Asia and West Asia.

"Although we end the year with increased uncertainty in the international system, it is clear that India also has opportunities (in the UNSC, BRICS, SAARC, G-20 and elsewhere) to be a factor of peace and stability in the international system," he added.

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