Opening Speech at a meeting with Hamid Karzai, Head of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan 2002-03-12 00:01:16 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Mr Karzai, I am very happy to become acquainted with a man, who has now assumed responsibility for the future of Afghanistan. As you know, relations between Russia and Afghanistan have been actively expanding for a long time. Although we have seen different periods in our relations, we are neighbours; and I think it is our duty to build the highest level of bilateral relations for the benefit of both nations. I believe we have a lot to discuss because our countries are facing numerous tasks in the areas of politics, military development and economic recovery. We are very glad to see you. Welcome to Russia.