27 Jun 2019 10:58

CSTO not expecting rapid settlement in Afghanistan - Kyrgyz Security Council secretary

BISHKEK. June 27 (Interfax) - The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) views Afghanistan as a key source of instability in the region and does not expect the domestic conflict in Afghanistan to be settled rapidly, Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary Damir Sagynbayev said after a meeting with CSTO counterparts in Bishkek on Thursday.

"Participants in today's meeting agreed that Afghanistan remains the main source of instability [in the CSTO zone of responsibility], considering the ongoing events that rule out a rapid settlement in the Afghan territory and, therefore, in the areas bordering Afghanistan," Sagynbayev told the press after the meeting of the CSTO Committee of Security Council Secretaries.

The sides called for bolstering the organization's potential amid threats coming from Afghanistan and general instability in the world, he said.

"Threats posed by the activity of international terrorist and extremist religious organizations persist," he said.

"Armed groups aligned with ISIL [a terrorist organization banned in Russia] and other criminal groups remain a serious danger," Sagynbayev said.

"Given the existence of multiple challenges and threats in the CSTO zone of responsibility and the continuing global instability, the sides agreed on the need for further close coordination and search for mutually acceptable ways to strengthen the CSTO potential," he said.

Measures aimed at lowering tensions in the Tajik-Afghan border area were also discussed, Sagynbayev said.

The same problem was mentioned by acting CSTO Secretary General Valery Semerikov.

"We are particularly concerned about ways of normalizing the situation in the Tajik-Afghan border area," he told the press.

A number of relevant proposals will be prepared by the organization's statutory bodies for the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, which is due on November 28. They will be signed by the chiefs of member states.

"We are coordinating a very important document, a targeted program aimed at strengthening the border, and I believe we will be able to offer coordinated proposals to our chiefs of state in November," Semerikov said.

"The CSTO held its first Operation Mercenary in 2019 to prevent arrivals and departures of fighters from regions of terrorist activity and recruitment of our citizens to terrorist groups," he said.

"I can tell you that the operation has proven highly effective and successful, and I have no doubt it will be continued," Semerikov said.