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Lukashenko taking part in CSTO summit

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is taking part in the session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), BelTA has learned.

The summit is taking place at the official residence of the president of Tajikistan - the Palace of Nations. This complex is used for hosting heads of state and international delegations. The palace took eight years to build and was commissioned in 2008. It is included in the list of the most important facilities of the country.

The meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council began with protocol events: the heads of state were welcomed by Tajikistan's foreign minister at the central entrance of the Palace of Nations and by President Emomali Rahmon in the lobby of the building.

After a photographing ceremony, the leaders of the CSTO countries flanked by foreign ministers as well as CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas walked away to embark on talks.

The agenda of the talks features only one topic, but the heads of state need to discuss a wide range of issues related to international and regional security and to take stock of the CSTO activities in the inter-session period.

One of the most important issues will be the situation in Afghanistan. A reminder, at the extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council on 23 August Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to come up with a common stance on Afghanistan: “Let's be sincere: for the time being this position is like this ‘let's wait and see what happens next and then respond accordingly'. This is wrong. Of course, we will be watching what happens next. However, we need to clearly understand that given the information and the facts that we heard today, we need to develop a common position rather than issue all kinds of calls and statements. Otherwise, it will be too late to do something to rectify the situation.”

In the run-up to the CSTO summit Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters that countries of the region expect Afghanistan to focus on peaceful development of the country and on building diversified cooperation with other countries. “I think we should wait for the Afghanistan government to finally form. We believe that an inclusive dialogue involving various population groups should be organized inside the country. We are interested in seeing no threats to neighbors from Afghanistan's territory. These threats are multidimensional today,” the minister said.