London, Oct 27(ANI): The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations with Russia for a joint initiative in Afghanistan.
According to the Telegraph, a formal agreement may be reached at NATO’s two-day summit, which will be attended by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in Lisbon from November 19.
“The summit can mark a new start in the relationship between NATO and Russia,” the newspaper quoted Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary-General, as saying.
“We will hopefully agree on a broad range of areas in which we can develop practical co-operation on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics,” he added.
According to reports, the deals would include supply of Russian helicopters and Russian crews to train Afghan pilots.
Meanwhile, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov hopes that Western peacemaking troops will not withdraw before they have fulfilled their mission in the region.
“We are watching things in Afghanistan very closely and we are exchanging our experience with the Americans. Russia is ready to pass on to America the experience gained by our veterans of the war in Afghanistan,” the Independent quoted Serdyukov, as saying.
“Withdrawal of the [Western] troops would naturally affect the situation in central Asia, we currently cannot even imagine how. For this reason we want to help the West, among other things with helicopters, whose delivery we are now discussing,” he added.
Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com