Russia, China and Pakistan discuss concern about Islamic State in Afghanistan

By @mik_mapa on
Vitaly Churkin
Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari speaks with Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote, aimed at ensuring that U.N. officials can monitor evacuations from besieged parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo, at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 19, 2016. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Russia, China and Pakistan held a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday discussing the situation in Afganistan. The meeting concluded that there is a gradually growing threat to their frontiers by the Afghanistan-based Islamic State. They also discussed the issues on regional peace and stability.

Russia's ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the three countries noted the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan. She added that they have agreed the removal of certain figures from sanctions list in a flexible approach. It aimed to foster a peaceful dialogue between the Taliban movement and Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani asked the United Nations in November to add the new leader of Taliban to its sanctions list.

Russia ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that deteriorating situation has encouraged IS militants to look Afghanistan as shelter. He said that it would pose a threat to his country through neighbouring central Asian states.

Pakistani officials said that Russia was eager to include Iran in the future meetings of the tripartite working group. Iran borders both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmad Shekib Mostaghni said Kabul was not properly informed about the meeting. He added that the absence of Afghans cannot help the real situation. It would raise serious questions about the purpose of the meetings.

The United States was not invited to the Moscow talks. The country still has nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the Taliban were toppled by US-backed Afghan forces. 

Officials in Kabul and Washington said that Russia was deepening its ties with the Taliban militants. However, the country has denied it. Churkin said that their contacts with Taliban representatives were limited to the task of providing for the security of Russian nationals in Afghanistan.

The Taliban pressured a number of Afghan provincial capitals in 2016 and more than 5,500 Afghanistan forces were killed from January to August 2016.