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UN Security Council considers visit to war-torn Afghanistan

AP  |  United Nations 

The of the UN Security Council said today that members are considering a visit to to show solidarity with the people, meet officials and see firsthand the situation in the war-torn country.

Kairat Umarov, who holds the council's rotating presidency this month, said the body hasn't been to for seven years and a trip would give members the opportunity to get an understanding of the country's needs and prospects.

He told reporters he hopes to lead a council mission but wouldn't discuss the timing.

US H R McMaster's briefed council members on Tuesday on and Umarov called it "a very good and timely event."

Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told reporters Tuesday he agreed with most points McMaster raised and "fully agreed" with his point on the need for Russian and US cooperation on Afghanistan.

Nebenzia said he noted Vladimir Putin's comment at his conference in December "thanking the Americans for being in Afghanistan, for doing a job" and stressing the need for US-Russian cooperation on the issue.

The war is now in its 17th year and forces have struggled to combat both the and the Islamic State extremist group since US and international forces officially concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014 and shifted to a support and counterterrorism role. The Taliban's five-year rule of Afghanistan ended with the 2001 American-led invasion of the country.

ordered an additional 3,800 US troops to Afghanistan after announcing a new strategy in August aimed at ending America's longest war, bringing the total US forces there to at least 15,000.

Umarov said Afghanistan has to deal with terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. But, he added, there is also a movement to integrate the country into the region and promote regional trade that can help it "not to be perceived like a threat but as an attractive partner to the regional countries."

He said the is trying to bring the to the negotiating table and on that issue the council thinks "it should be an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process, and we as international community can help them in achieving that goal."

Swedish Olof Skoog, also a council member, said, "The seem to think that the military strategy is the right one, and that's not what we think.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 05:20 IST