Regional Leaders In Dushanbe Discuss Drugs, Security, Trade

At a regional summit today, the presidents of Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan discussed how to prevent illegal drugs moving through the region, and the security measures needed to do so.

In a joint statement following their talks in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, and Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon agreed to work more closely to combat extremism and drug trafficking.

The leaders also urged the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan to step up the training of local security forces as it completes its planned staged withdrawal.

In a joint statement after the talks, the leaders said that the “reduction of foreign military presence in Afghanistan should be accompanied by adequate increase of efforts by the participants of the international coalition for training and arming Afghan national security structures.”

Medvedev, who also held bilateral meetings with Karzai and Zardari, said that true stability and rule of law in the region can only be achieved by local governments.

The four leaders also pledged cooperation on regional energy projects and transport corridors.

The statement said Pakistan offered to host the next meeting of the four nations but did not specify a date.

compiled from agency reports

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