India, Russia share similar views on Afghanistan: Klebanov
Tuesday October 16, 4:46 PM
NEW DELHI, Oct 16 (AFP) - Russia said Tuesday it shares "absolutely similar" views with India on the need for a broad-based post-Taliban government in Afghanistan as the two sides held high-level talks here.
"The tragic events of September 11 in New York have substantially changed the world," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said on the concluding day of his visit to India, adding that Moscow had its own experiences of terrorism.
Russia launched a self-styled "anti-terrorist" operation against Islamic separatists in the southern republic of Chechnya on October 1, 1999.
"I need to say that India and Russia share absolutely similar views especialy on the situation in Afghanistan."
He noted that Russia has "long been supporting" the Northern Alliance force that opposes Afghanistan's ruling Taliban.
"But today our efforts and the efforts of India are joined by other western powers," Klebanov said.
"Eventually, all wars must come to an end, and we are looking at a new government in Afghanistan which is more wide-based and representative of all sections of the people of Afghanistan."
Klebanov, who met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Tuesday morning, also held two sessions with newly reinstated Defence Minister George Fernandes.
He described the talks with Vajpayee as "very dynamic", adding that his visit was aimed at preparing for Vajpayee's state visit to Moscow between November 4 and 7.
Klebanov said during Vajpayee's visit to Moscow that "some very important, crucial economic documents" would be signed between the two sides.
"We have great expectations from the visit," he added.
Klebanov said areas on which the two countries would concentrate would include joint research and development of commercial and transport aircraft, submarine and surface fleets, new nuclear, thermal and hydroelectric power projects and oil exploration in the Bay of Bengal.
"We have to spread our positive cooperation to other areas like these," he said.
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