Russian Defense Ministry to Hold International Conference on Afghanistan

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The Russian Defense Ministry is holding an international forum on Afghanistan on October 8-9.

The Russian Defense Ministry is holding an international forum on Afghanistan on October 8-9, in an effort to boost security and stability in the country, which is threatened by Islamic State (ISIL) and the Taliban.

“The forum will be attended by representatives of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation [SCO] member-states, observers and dialogue partners,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that representatives from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) countries will also be present.

Participants in the forum, which is being held in Moscow, will discuss ways of helping Afghanistan prevent the spread of extremism in the region, according to the ministry.

Afghanistan continues to be in a state of political and social turmoil as the Taliban and ISIL radicals take advantage of instability in the country, which has persisted since the 2001 US-led invasion.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Joint Command mission in Afghanistan officially ended in 2014.

The current US plan is to end military presence in Afghanistan by December 2016, closing the remaining US bases in the country that currently host about 10,000 servicemen.

However, US media reported in September that US Army Gen. John Campbell, who is the US military commander in Afghanistan, has sent five different recommendations to the Pentagon and NATO officials proposing to keep the current US presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

On Saturday, some 22 people, including 12 staff from the MSF (Medecins Sans Frontiers or Doctors Without Borders) aid agency were killed in a US airstrike that hit a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders called the attack a war crime, and said it would conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

 

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