Withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan may have negative effect on Central Asia: Expert 21 января 2013, 16:26
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Afghan militants may come to Central Asia after withdrawal of the international coalition troops from Afghanistan, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing Assylbek Mendygaliyev, senior researcher of the Institute of Statehood, Security and Development of Nazarbayev Center.
“Withdrawal of the international troops from Afghanistan may result in a possible penetration of the militants and extremists to the territory of Central Asian countries,” he wrote in his article in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda on January 19.
Medyhaliyev believes that drug trafficking to Kazakhstan and neighboring countries may spike. “In general, the expected withdrawal of the coalition troops amid remaining instability and confrontations inside Afghanistan, as well as lack of real progress in reviving social and economic processes may have a very negative effect first of all on the situation in Central Asia and then on security of Russia,” the expert wrote.
In this relation, he considers it necessary for all countries of the region “to hinder penetration of extremists and drug trafficking, using the potential of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) and maybe the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization)” prior to the withdrawal of the international coalition troops from Afghanistan. “For this purpose the Collective Security Council of the CSTO plans to organize a permanent watch of the troops of the Collective Security Forces for adequate response to any complications at the border with Afghanistan. Such forces are located at the military bases in Tajikistan (201st division) and Kyrgyzstan (Kant air base). In case of necessity to strengthen these divisions, it would be reasonable to involve additional troops of the CSTO Collective Forces,” Mendygaliyev notes.
Meanwhile, according to the expert, Russia and Central Asian states have to enhance cooperation with the international coalition forces and Afghan government to counter drug trafficking. Solving this task, the expert believes, requires activation of the CSTO's existing anti-drug mission called Channel. It is also necessary to continue a more active participation in the international efforts on economic restoration of Afghanistan, support its security and ensure political stability in the country, Mendygaliyev stresses.
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