IS Presence in Afghanistan a Source of Concern

IS Presence in Afghanistan a Source of Concern IS Presence in Afghanistan a Source of Concern

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed concern over the presence of the so-called Islamic State terrorist group in war-torn Afghanistan.

Addressing a conference in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday, Zarif warned of threats emanating from terrorist and extremist groups in Afghanistan, including IS.

He said the presence of elements instigating insecurity in Afghanistan, particularly the IS terrorist group, and divisions within the ranks of Afghanistan's Taliban, which could serve the interests of IS militants, are among serious concerns regarding Afghanistan, Press TV reported.

"Today, extremism, terrorism and narcotics pose huge challenges and threats to Afghanistan, the region and the entire world, and unfortunately terror groups are increasing the extent of their infiltration into Afghanistan," he said.

Zarif reaffirmed Iran's support for the Afghan nation and government, stressing that all regional countries, including Iran, will benefit from a secure and self-sufficient Afghanistan.

The Fifth Heart of Asia ministerial meeting opened in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan 14 years after the US-led invasion of the country. The meeting was attended by foreign ministers of 26 countries.

Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The 2001 attack overthrew the Taliban, but many areas across Afghanistan still face violence and insecurity.

Some districts in Afghanistan, including the volatile Nangarhar Province, have been witnessing a rise in the number of IS terrorists in recent months as the terror group, which is mainly operating in Iraq and Syria, is making inroads in Afghanistan with its followers spreading across the country.