THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 6, 2009
JOINT STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BARACK OBAMA AND PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION D. A. MEDVEDEV CONCERNING AFGHANISTAN
Expressing concern over the continuing conflict in Afghanistan and noting the importance of stepping up the international community's efforts to help stabilize that country and promote the democratic process and economic growth there, we reaffirm our commitment to the goals of the common fight against the threats of terrorism, armed extremism, and illegal drug trafficking in Afghanistan. We shall continue and develop our cooperation in the interest of enhancing the capabilities of the Government of Afghanistan to accomplish key socioeconomic objectives, to raise living standards, and to ensure the security of its people.
We reaffirm our strong determination and capacity for expanding cooperation within the framework of the Russian-U.S. Counter-Terrorism Working Group and intend to make effective use of this mechanism to coordinate practical joint work in all aspects related to stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.
We are prepared to increase the assistance provided to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in strengthening and developing the capabilities of the Afghan National Army and police, and in training counternarcotics personnel. In this regard, we are intent on further implementation of the counternarcotics project under the auspices of the Russia-NATO Council, using the International Interagency Center in Domodedovo, and on taking part in carrying out the Afghanistan-related projects of the OSCE pursuant to Decision No. 4/07 adopted in Madrid by the foreign ministers of that organization's participating states. In implementing UN Security Council Resolution No. 1386 and other resolutions that supplement it, we intend to make active use of the transit route through the territory of the Russian Federation for deliveries of property and equipment for the needs of the international forces operating in Afghanistan and strongly welcome and support the participation of other nations in stabilizing Afghanistan.
We consider it important to step up the fight against drug trafficking both within and outside of Afghanistan, including through the development of alternative livelihoods for farmers and interdiction of narcotics traffickers, and including prevention of shipments of precursors to that country pursuant to UNSC Resolution No. 1817.
To strengthen the capabilities of the Government of Afghanistan in the fight against drug trafficking, corruption, and other types of crime and threats, including those that are cross-boundary, we consider it important to encourage and support that country's efforts to implement the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
To further support our countries’ shared counterterrorism, anticrime and counternarcotics objectives in Afghanistan, the United States and the Russian Federation have decided to develop a bilateral initiative to increase significantly the use of financial intelligence and law enforcement tools to stop the illicit financial flows related to heroin trafficking in Afghanistan, including that by the Taliban and organized crime. The initiative will include an operational component to target the trafficking and the illicit networks that support it.
We express our willingness to explore issues related to Russian-U.S. interaction and cooperation in restoring the transportation, energy, and industrial infrastructure of Afghanistan.
We believe it important to ensure the necessary security conditions for holding nationwide presidential and provincial elections in Afghanistan that would be credible and transparent to the people and that should become an important stage in the development of that country as a self-sufficient democratic state and demonstrate the viability of its political system. In this regard, we welcome the increased international support for the Afghan elections and call for additional assistance to Afghanistan after the elections.
We are in favor of strengthening regional approaches to issues related to the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan, with the UN playing a major coordinating role. In this regard, both countries will closely cooperate within the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and "Paris Pact" process. We note the particular importance of the Special Conference on Afghanistan held on March 27, 2009, under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Moscow, and the Hague International Conference on Afghanistan on March 31, 2009, as well as the meeting of the G-8 foreign ministers in Trieste in regard to Afghanistan.
We think it essential to intensify and strengthen interaction between Afghanistan and Pakistan in repelling the common threats of terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking. We are prepared to help increase the effectiveness of such interaction, including through organizing Afghani-Pakistani summit meetings under our auspices, as happened in Ekaterinburg and Washington. We are committed to implementing the sanctions imposed by UNSC Resolution No. 1267 (Al Qaida/Taliban) and to bolstering the existing sanctions regime in order to isolate those who pose a threat to international peace and security.
We support the conditions set by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for reintegration efforts. These include recognition of the Constitution of Afghanistan, disarmament, and breaking any terrorist ties with Al-Qaida and other organizations connected with it.