Moscow after ISAF bases purpose in Afghanistan beyond 2014
Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:26AM
In any case any residual military presence should not be used against the interests of Afghanistan's neighbors or other countries in the region." Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly ChurkinRussia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin says Moscow wants to know the purpose of foreign military bases in Afghanistan after the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pulls out of the Asian country in 2014. “Contradictory statements that foreign troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014, but the foreign military bases will remain there raise a number of questions,” RIA Novosti news agency quoted Churkin as saying on Friday. He added that if US-led operations in Afghanistan are completed in 2014, then the purpose of maintaining foreign military bases on Afghan soil would be different and Russia wants to be aware of the aim.
“If the anti-terrorism mission is accomplished, then the bases are needed there for some other, non-Afghanistan related function. If it is required that the war on terror continues, then it will be necessary to secure an extension of the mandate of the UN Security Council,” Churkin stated.The Russian UN ambassador noted that “In any case any residual military presence should not be used against the interests of Afghanistan's neighbors or other countries in the region.” The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but years into the invasion, insecurity continues to rise across the country. Violence has been on the rise in recent months despite the presence of thousands of US-led foreign forces in the war-torn country. MP/AZ