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Russia backs Karzai's Afghan peace efforts

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Russia backs Karzai's Afghan peace efforts


Their countries have a troubled history. But, on a visit to Russia, Hamid Karzai has been assured that Moscow backs his efforts to establish peace and security in Afghanistan.

President Dmitry Medvedev offered his support in talks with his Afghan counterpart in the southern resort city of Sochi, ahead of a four-way summit.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Tajikistan’s President Imomali Rakhmon were also attending.

Russia and Afghanistan’s mutual courtship comes two decades after Moscow ended a disastrous conflict on Afghan soil that claimed around 15,000 Soviet lives.

With that in mind, Russia has said it will not send soldiers to Afghanistan to take on the Taliban. But Moscow has held out the prospect of supplying transport helicopters to help the fight against insurgents, as it seeks to increase its influence in the region.

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