News - Afghanistan
Concerns over the growing presence of Daesh in Afghanistan for the first time, this week, topped the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's (SCO) meeting agenda.
The Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister, Cheng Guoping, has said that Daesh activities in Afghanistan are a major concern for Beijing and Moscow. Thus, he explained, leaders from the respective countries, which dominate the SCO, are expected to lend a great deal of time to discussion of the issue at their upcoming gathering in Russia.
"Due to the spillover effect of the Islamic State's terrorist activities, Afghanistan now faces a grim security situation," Cheng said, according to the Shanghai Daily. SCO leaders "will certainly have in-depth discussions on the Afghan issue," he added.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's two-day meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday in Russia, with delegates from its six member countries - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan - in attendance. In addition, leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and India are also expected to attend the conference.
"Shanghai cannot be considered a military power, but as a big organization, it can help Afghanistan reach peace and prevent war," Afghan political analyst Abdul Rahim Pashtonyar told TOLOnews.
For their part, Iran has been one of the most vocal countries in the region when it comes to the specter of Deash. "Daesh is a regional threat [...] Daesh does not limit itself to a particular geography and according to our viewpoint Daesh is not just a threat for Afghanistan, but for Central Asia too," Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Reza Bahrami said on Tuesday.
According to Bahrami, Tehran is ready to help Kabul to fight affiliates of the group within its borders. "It is the duty of the Afghan government to plan an operational strategy against the group and if Kabul feels its needs Iran's support in this regard, undoubtedly, within the framework of bilateral cooperation, Iran will help Kabul," the ambassador said.
Recently, the top Iranian diplomat in Kabul said that a successful conclusion to the current nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 world powers could have a major positive impact on Afghanistan's security and development.