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Official website of the President of Russia

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Dmitry Medvedev replied to a letter from President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.

June 26, 2008

In his reply Mr Medvedev said, in particular:

“Thank you for the letter you sent through Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, R.D. Spanta. I share your assessment of the current state and outlook for Russian-Afghan relations. For my part, I want to stress that Russia has feelings of great warmth for your country and your people.

We want to continue building on our diverse ties with Afghanistan based on the principles of equality, effective cooperation and mutual consideration of each other’s interests. We are firmly committed to making use of the considerable potential we have accumulated over these many years of work together and to making the necessary effort to encourage Russian companies into the Afghan market.

We are ready to help and support the people of Afghanistan in this difficult hour without asking for anything in return. In particular, I can inform you that in response to Afghanistan’s request, I have instructed the Russian Government to organise the rapid delivery of 15,000 tons of wheat as humanitarian aid. Furthermore, Russia will contribute $4 million in 2008–2009 to a multilateral trust fund for the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

I fully agree with you that international terrorism is a serious threat to our countries today, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan carries a heavy burden in the fight against this evil. This makes it all the more imperative to make Afghanistan’s national armed forces combat ready and able to take on full responsibility for the country’s security. You can count on Russia’s cooperation and support in this work.

Another key task is to step up the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community to combat the growing drugs threat. Russia is ready to contribute to this fight by setting up a comprehensive system of ‘anti-narcotics and financial security belts’ around Afghanistan with the United Nations playing a coordinating role.

I wish you good health and success in your important work, and I wish the people of Afghanistan happiness and prosperity.”

June 26, 2008