Russia says US must fulfill UN mandate in Afghanistan
KABUL - Agence France-Presse
US-led NATO troops must not withdraw from Afghanistan until local forces are able to ensure security for the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on March18.
Lavrov told television channel Tolo news it was a point of “international law” that the Afghan government must “possess the capabilities to maintain law and order” before international forces leave. “The presence of the international stabilization force in Afghanistan has been mandated by the UN Security Council.
The mandate is clear. They must fulfill this mandate before they leave,” he said. Foreign combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014 and efforts have been made to train up the Afghan forces to take responsibility for the country’s security. Meanwhile, U.S. is negotiating a strategic partnership agreement with Kabul, and looking at the issue of permanent US bases in Afghanistan post-2014. Lavrov said it was “strange” to insist on the withdrawal of troops while at the same time “Washington is discussing with Afghanistan very purposefully about establishing four or five military bases for the post 2014 period”.