ISIS loyalists as active as ever in Afghanistan: Russian Foreign Ministry

Maria-Zakharova

KABUL: The Russian Foreign Ministry has said the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are as active as ever in Afghanistan.

There are concerns that the loyalists of the group will attempt to expand activities and foothold across Afghanistan and into the Central Asia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters “The ISIS-controlled branch in Afghanistan is as active as ever as it is seeking to spread its influence to the bordering states of Central Asia and the north of Afghanistan.”

In other parts of her briefing, Zakharova said the Taliban movement continues to fight in some regions of the country but the most complicated situation is in the southern province of Helmand, where extremists have already seized four districts and in three other districts there are ongoing armed clashes with government forces.

According to Zakharova, there is still much concern about the situation in the north of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan where Taliban militants have established control of a number of regions and continue attempts to seize provincial centers.

In regards to the peace efforts by the Afghan government with the anti-government armed militant groups, Zakharova said “Remember that earlier efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group made up of the representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China to convince the Taliban to make peace has, regretfully, proved fruitless.”

Reaffirming Russia’s support towards the Afghan peace efforts, Zakharova said “Russia is ready to help facilitate the negotiating process and take, among other things, a flexible approach toward the possible easing of sanctions against the Taliban unless this will be in conflict with the national interests of Afghanistan.” -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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