Sergei Lavrov: Russia alarmed by plans to save military bases in Afghanistan

Moscow deems contradictory plans to save foreign military bases in Afghanistan after the troops withdrawal in 2014, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a ministerial meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

"The numerous challenges and threats remain strong in the world, including in Asia. The emergence of an instability curve from North Africa to Afghanistan is particularly alarming," he said.

"We cannot turn a blind eye to how the situation will further develop in that country, especially against the backdrop of contradictory statements that foreign troops will go in 2014, but foreign basses will stay. We need clarity here. If the anti-terrorist mission has been fulfilled, something which has been arousing doubts thus far, are the military bases going to be saved for a reason not connected with Afghanistan?" Lavrov said.

"All of us have one goal - a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan that does not carry any terrorist or drug threats to its neighbors and the world," the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov urged the CICA members to open their plans and moves with regards to Afghanistan to the maximum, especially so since 'the mandate to foreign presence in Afghanistan was approved by the UN Security Council."

"I think the CICA mechanism could help ensure such openness," Lavrov said.

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