Foreign fighters’ presence increasing in North: Koofi

KABUL (Tolo News): Fawzia Koofi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban, said that the presence of foreign Taliban in the northern regions of Afghanistan, particularly along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border, is threatening the security of those areas. She called for swift action to neutralize them.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoyguv warned that Russia will act immediately if there is a threat emanating toward Central Asia from Afghanistan. Chinese officials have expressed hope that the Taliban will fight against the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) militants.
“Now the activities and movements of foreign militants have increased more than any time before along the border areas and in the strategic locations which have come under Taliban control, unfortunately,” said Koofi. Based on a Radio Azadi report, foreign fighters reportedly with ties to Tajik militant groups are present in some districts of Badakshan including Kuf Ab, Shekay, Nusay Maimai and Khawhan.
“In case there is a threat to our ally, Russia will respond within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoyguv. “In the initial step, Russia will use Base-201 in Tajikistan-Afghanistan border,” he said. The Russian defense minister also expressed deep concerns over the movement of Daesh fighters from Syria and Libya to Afghanistan.
“This is the collective responsibility of the international community to jointly combat the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. We hope that the Afghan Taliban draw a clear line to the terror groups and act against them seriously and robustly to remove the barriers,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry.