Afghan officers to be trained by Russian experts

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov's official visit to Afghanistan willstart today. As competent sources in the Defense Ministry reported,preparation for the visit was done in top secret. In the meantime, it wasreported Ivanov's visit to Afghanistan had been prepared for a long time,since the head of the Afghan Defense Ministry Mohammad Fahim's visit toMoscow that took place at the beginning of this year. The Afghan DefenseMinister said at that time Kabul was very much interested in military andtechnical cooperation with Russia. The same sources in the Russian DefenseMinistry pointed out Moscow and Kabul would sign an intergovernmentalagreement about military and technical cooperation for the next five years.The document will envisage spare parts, military equipment, ammunition,telecommunications equipment as well as fire arms supplies to Afghanistan.There is also a separate issue of training the officers of the Afghan armyat the Russian 201st vehicular division located in Tajikistan. SergeyIvanov spoke about this two weeks ago in Chita, when he got familiar withone of the training centers of the Siberian military district. New detailsof the contract, which is scheduled to be signed during the Russian DefenseMinister's visit to Afghanistan, have recently been released, theNezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported..