Afghan problems cannot be solved only by counter-terror fight - Kosachyov

The elimination of a leader of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan is a positive step in the fight against terrorism, but systemic efforts, including those as part of cooperation between the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and NATO, need to be made in order to actually solve this country's problems, Konstantin Kosachyov, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, has said.

"Afghanistan's problems cannot be resolved exclusively by counter-terrorist actions. Far more systemic, large-scale and consistent efforts are needed in order to promote economic, social and political transformations in this long-suffering country," Kosachyov told Interfax on May 22.

U.S.-led NATO forces are scarcely involved in such programs, he said.

"There is a need for a synergy of the entire international community's efforts, including those as part of interaction between NATO and the CSTO. But, regrettably, such interaction has been categorically rejected by Brussels and Washington," Kosachyov said.

He agreed that the elimination of a Taliban leader is a positive development, however, the Russian senator believes, the past Soviet experience, which was quite controversial in general, was far more productive in terms of helping to resolve Afghanistan's actual problems.

"At that time, apart from the combat operations themselves, plants, power stations, roads and bridges were built, and an Afghan citizen was even sent into space," Kosachyov said.

Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security confirmed on Sunday the death of the leader of one of the Taliban extremist movement's major factions, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

According to the report, Mansour was killed at 3:45 p.m. local time on Saturday during an air strike near the town of Ahmad Wal in Balochistan, Pakistan.

The Afghan presidential administration, for its part, said in a statement that Mansour had repeatedly rejected "calls by the people and government of Afghanistan to end the war in the country" by peaceful means.




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