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Afghan Presidential Aide Refutes Anti-American Remarks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) welcomes Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar during their meeting in Moscow on April 15.

The Afghan national security adviser's office has strongly rejected a recent report by a Russian news agency that said Hanif Atmar called the United States a sponsor of terrorists during a recent conference in Moscow.

The Interfax news agency quoted Atmar on April 16 as saying that "terrorism is being used as a state policy, and it cannot be defeated as long as the U.S. sponsors terrorists."

Interfax reported that Atmar made these remarks at the 4th Moscow Conference on International Security.

Hikmatullah Foshanji, a senior official on the Afghanistan National Security Council, told RFE/RL's Gandhara website that Atmar never made such a statement.

"The Interfax report is not even close to what Atmar said," he said. "This is unfortunate, and it's not appropriate for the media to publish such wrong and fabricated reports. This will only erode the role of the media of such countries."

Foshanji added that Atmar told the conference that some countries in the region support terrorist groups, which had a pivotal role in increasing insecurity in Afghanistan and the region.

"Atmar also said states that sponsor terrorism will not reach their political goals. But he did not name any specific countries," Foshanji said.

A press release by Atmar's office said Afghanistan was grateful to the sacrifices made by the United States in the fight against terrorism and its reconstruction efforts in the country.