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Russia, Afghanistan agree to step up drugs fight

Russian and Afghanistan want to increase cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking despite Afghan anger over a joint US-Russian drugs raid, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai agreed to continue joint efforts against drug trafficking during a telephone conversation, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Russian and US forces raided drug-processing laboratories last week in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, the first known joint US-Russian counter-narcotics operation in the country.

Karzai released a statement condemning the action, saying it was a violation of Afghan sovereignty and had taken place without permission of his government, but since then Afghanistan reaffirmed its commitment to cooperation with Russia.

“Mr Medvedev and Karzai particularly discussed the recent anti-drug operation which led to the destruction of large quantities of narcotics,” the statement said.

“It had been particularly noted that in the framework of this operation, cooperation between anti-drug organs from Afghanistan, the US and Russia was developed for the first time,” the statement said.