Afghan humanitarian crisis, drug trafficking alarm India, Russia, China

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FILE PHOTO: Afghan farmers work on a poppy field in the Gereshk district of Helmand province

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -The foreign ministers of India, Russia and China expressed concern on Friday at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the spread of drug trafficking in the country.

Afghanistan has been plunged into crisis by the abrupt end of billions of dollars in foreign assistance, following the collapse of the Western-backed government and return to power of the Taliban in August.

"Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan," said a joint statement released following a virtual meeting between India's S Jaishankar, Russia's Sergey Lavrov and China's Wang Yi.

The statement called on the Taliban to respect the results of United Nations resolutions on Afghanistan and the central role of the U.N. in the country.

The three countries also pledged to do more to combat drug smuggling in the region.

"The spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond... poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations," the statement added.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Kirsten Donovan)

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