Pakistan and Russia warn of increasing Daesh presence in Afghanistan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif during a meeting in Moscow, Russia. February 20, 2018 (Reuters)

Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov as part of a four-day visit to Russia. Ties between the two countries have grown stronger over more than a decade on several fronts, including defence and energy.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned of the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan during a joint press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

“We are very preoccupied by what is happening in Afghanistan and by the expansion of IS influence,” Lavrov said.

“This is right on the borders of our Central Asian neighbours. It increases the risk of terrorists entering Central Asia, from where it’s not difficult for them to get to Russia, and further,” Lavrov said.

Russia and Pakistan were on opposite sides of the nine-year Soviet War in Afghanistan in the late 1970s. However, over the last decade, both countries have attempted to forge stronger ties as the influence of US, China and India continuously change regional dynamics.

Lavrov and Asif agreed on Tuesday to cooperate militarily against terrorism and to hold joint exercises.

Recent deals between the two nations include Pakistan’s purchase of Mi-35M attack helicopters from Russia, after years of relying on the US military aid.

TRT World’s Joseph Hayat examines the ties between Pakistan and Russia.

Source: TRT World