RealNews

Russia to Beef Up Tajikistan Presence

Russia will boost its military presence in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan to stem the flow of terrorism and drugs from neighboring Afghanistan and promote stability in the region, President Vladimir V. Putin said Sunday while visiting the former Soviet republic. “A truly peaceful and stable Afghanistan is still a very long way away,” Putin said in televised remarks to officers of a Russian motorized infantry division based in Tajikistan. “Moreover, our special services, including those from the Defense Ministry, have recently reported the Taliban and Al Qaeda significantly stepping up their activities and rebuilding their networks. It is up to the anti-terrorist international coalition to improve and intensify its efforts.” Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, an American presence has grown in Central Asia with Putin’s acquiescence. U.S. forces have used Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan, where more than 11,000 U.S. and allied troops are searching for remnants of the ousted Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network. Full Story

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