Ukraine welcomes the gradual reduction of the foreign presence in Afghanistan, defense minister of Ukraine Dmytro Salamatin said during the meeting with President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.

According to the Defense Ministry of Ukraine press service, the parties discussed issues of mutual interest during the meeting. Salamatin said that the visit of the Ukrainian military delegation to Afghanistan is a logical extension of the agreements reached during the current meeting of the Presidents of Ukraine and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Chicago.

Salamatin said Ukraine has been involved in the operations of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan since 2007, and currently 25 Ukrainian peacekeepers perform tasks in the Lithuanian and Polish troops.
"The state of security in Afghanistan affects the state of security in the region. The level of security in the country influence the possibility of regeneration and formation of its economy," he said.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan noted a certain interest in the development of relations with Ukraine, between the defense agencies in particular.

"We are interested in the training of medical personnel, engineers, pilots and aviation technical personnel, in the acquisition of aircraft and other equipment for the national economy," Karzai said.
In the end of the meeting, Salamatin offered the President to send the Defense Ministry of Afghanistan delegation to Ukraine to identify areas of bilateral cooperation in military and military-technical cooperation.

Today, on September 11, 2012, Salamatin is to meet with Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan U.S. General John R. Allen.

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