Situation in Afghanistan far From Normal

French Defence Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie, in Moscow for an official visit, has expressed concern over the unstable situation in Afghanistan and the adjoining region.

She said it after a meeting with her Russian opposite number Sergei Ivanov, as she commented at RIA Novosti's request on the situation in Afghanistan.

"We are worried that the country cannot restore components that can guarantee its own and regional stability," Alliot-Marie emphasised.

"We don't think the situation in Afghanistan is getting normal," she said. "We see a strengthening Taliban presence and regular attacks by them." According to the French minister, the government is unable to clamp down on the drug trafficking in the country and "the Afghan authorities themselves acknowledge that".

Alliot-Marie stressed the need for jointly helping Afghanistan in restoring its national army, which, in her opinion, "could guarantee the restoration of internal stability and put an end to drugs trafficking." At the same time, the French minister does not think that such a negative situation in Afghanistan was the direct result of events in Iraq.

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