Astana talks Afghan security with Petraeus

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, April 6 (UPI) -- Stability in Central Asia is dependent on the success of the international mission in Afghanistan, the Kazakh foreign minister said in Astana.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev met this week with U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command, in Astana to discuss regional developments and the international mission in Afghanistan.


Saudabayev said success in Afghanistan would have a ripple effect throughout the Central Asian community, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry noted.

"There is no way to ensure stability and sustainable development in Central Asia without the stabilization of Afghanistan," he said.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Afghanistan was a priority during his country's tenure at the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, adding it would be one of the key issues on the agenda of the OSCE meeting in Astana planned for later this year.

Kazakhstan in January agreed to let NATO forces use its territory to ferry supplies to international forces operating in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, for his part, thanked Astana for its "excellent contribution" to the mission in Afghanistan. Astana reminded the visiting general that it was a keen supporter of international forces operating in Afghanistan.


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