Putin says there are 2,000 Islamic State members in northern Afghanistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today he has information about the concentration of “extremist and terrorist” groups in northern Afghanistan and that the Islamic State group has 2,000 members in the region.

“The concentration of extremist groups and terrorists near the border with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is clearly visible,” Putin said at a summit of the alliance formed by countries that were former Soviet republics.

Putin told the Presidents and Heads of Government of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan that it is the Islamic State group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Jamaat Ansaru Qdallah, the Uzbe.

“According to our information, the Islamic State alone has two thousand members in northern Afghanistan,” said the president of Russia.

According to Putin, “terrorist leaders are planning to extend influence over states in Central Asia and the Russian regions” through “ethnic conflicts and religious hatred”.

“Terrorists are trying to penetrate CIS territory, even under the guise of refugees,” said Vladimir Putin.

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, countries that are part of the CIS, share borders with Afghanistan, as does Turkmenistan, an associated country of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Tajikistan President Emomali Rajmon said the political, military, and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan “has created a serious security threat” for countries in the region.

“It is necessary to strengthen cooperation within the CIS to defend our external borders and to increase the combat capacity of our Armed Forces,” said President of Uzbekistan, Shavtkat Mirziyoyev.

The Uzbek head of state added that it is “necessary to strengthen the interaction” of the alliance’s security services against “terrorism and drug trafficking.”

Putin added that the Taliban, in power in Kabul since last August, cannot do without the profits that accrue from the production of narcotics in Afghanistan, a country that remains the “largest producer of opiates in the world”.

The Russian president reiterated that Moscow supports a process of reconciliation between Afghans and recalled that Russia is preparing a multilateral meeting, in this context, which will take place next Wednesday.

The Taliban are invited to the meeting under the so-called “Moscow Format”, the negotiating group created in 2007 and formed by Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan and the United States, joined by India and Pakistan.

This group will propose the holding of a conference under the auspices of the UN on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, as announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Moscow, Sergei Lavrov.

The Kremlin’s special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said today that the Taliban have confirmed their presence at next week’s meeting.

On the other hand, the president of Kazakhstan announced today that the country has already started shipping food and essential products to Afghanistan.

The head of state of Kazakhstan said that humanitarian aid is essential and reiterated the proposal for the creation in Almaty of an operations center for the distribution of international assistance to Afghanistan.

The Uzbekistan leader said he supports dialogue with the new authorities in Kabul, but that “at this time” it is “convenient” to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people.

Source: With Agencies

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