News / Europe

Russia Welcomes Pakistani President

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, foreground right, walks upon arrival at Moscow airport on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, foreground right, walks upon arrival at Moscow airport on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on his first official visit to Russia.  His visit follows the killing by U.S. forces of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

The Pakistani leader is to meet with President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.  The two are expected to discuss regional cooperation, terrorism and a host of economic issues.

Medvedev, whose country is fighting Islamic militants in its North Caucasus area, welcomed bin Laden's death, which he said would have a direct effect on the security of his own county.

Earlier, the Russian leader had described the U.S. killing of bin Laden as a success.  Russia also has backed the U.S.-led fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban which had hosted bin Laden.

Medvedev said that the al-Qaida network had regularly sent attackers to strike within Russia.  Terrorists have set off bombs on Russian underground trains and most recently in an airport in Moscow, killing dozens of people.

Russian security forces on May 4 said they had killed a top al-Qaida emissary in Chechnya.  Officials said that Doger Sevdet, also known as Abdulla the Kurd, had directly participated in planning and organizing of major sabotage and terrorist attacks targeting members of the public and security forces in the North Caucasus.

Authorities say Sevdet and a fellow militant from Dagestan were killed in a special operation by Russian security forces.  Sevdet was reportedly carrying a Turkish passport with visas for Georgia, Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

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