(AP) - Officials from Armenia and five other ex-Soviet republics which are part of a security pact pledged Monday to enhance their foreign policy cooperation and called for closer global attention to Afghanistan.
Vladimir Rushailo, the secretary of Russia's presidential Security Council, said at a news conference in the Tajik capital that the pact members stressed the importance of "deepening and perfecting the coordination of the foreign policy actions" during their talks in the Tajik capital.
The Collective Security Treaty includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Another four ex-Soviet republics attended Monday's talks as observers. On the sidelines of the talks, Rushailo met Monday with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov to discuss joint action to combat terrorism and drug trafficking, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
The security group also tackled those issues during Monday's meeting. The group's Russian executive secretary, Nikolai Bordyuzha, also stressed that Afghanistan remains a source of instability for the region and called for continued international attention to the situation in Afghanistan.
"The international community must not forget about Afghanistan," Bordyuzha said, according to the ITAR-Tass. "As long as the production and contraband of narcotic drugs is not stopped, we will have no significant results of the efforts to stabilize the military-political situation," he said. "We also know about attempts at reviving the Taliban movement and its terrorist groups. These facts cannot but trouble the world community."
In October, the treaty countries opened a military base in Kyrgyzstan with Russian warplanes to provide air support for future anti-terrorist operations.