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OSCE, Russia review Afghanistan's future

Nov. 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM

MOSCOW, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier was in Moscow to discuss security in Central Asia following the 2014 transition in Afghanistan, the organization said.

OSCE is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Zannier was in Russia last week. He met there with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his deputy, Alexei Meshkov, and other high-ranking Kremlin officials.

"Security challenges for Central Asia and for the OSCE region as a whole, in particular in view of the 2014 transition in Afghanistan, were an important theme on the agenda, along with the wider issue of the OSCE area," the organization said in a statement Monday.

Zannier's meeting was closed to the press, meaning no transcripts were available. The organization said engagement was needed from members of the Central Asian community to ensure Afghanistan can succeed with its national security forces in the lead.

International security forces in Afghanistan are transitioning out of the country ahead of next year's deadline. Afghanistan holds elections in 2014 as well.

The OSCE last month agreed to a request from the Afghan government to help with presidential and provincial council elections scheduled for April. It said it would send no more than 20 election officials to the country.

Russian forces left Afghanistan in the 1990s.

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