Kabulov announced a threefold increase in the number of IS fighters in Afghanistan

The number of fighters of the banned terrorist organization has risen to 6,000 under the rule of the Taliban, said Zamir Kabulov, special envoy of the Russian president for Afghanistan. The authorities also failed to reduce poppy cultivation

After coming to power in Afghanistan in August last year, the Taliban the number of the ISIS terrorist group has increased (both groups are terrorist and banned in Russia), Zamir Kabulov, director of the second department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, special representative of the Russian president for Afghanistan, said at a press conference in Moscow (broadcast was conducted on the website of the Rossiya Segodnya MIA).

According to him, “the estimated number reached 6 thousand people, although after the Taliban came to power their number was about 2 thousand,” but before the arrival of the Taliban, the number of ISIS was “more than 10 thousand.” “Even offhand a threefold increase. This is the most negative side of the development of the Afghan situation,»,— said Kabulov.

According to the diplomat, although opposition to the Taliban government continues in Afghanistan, now “there is no force that can create a counterbalance to the current government.” The Taliban, continued Kabulov, continue to learn how to run the country, they “hardly, but understand” the need to create a genuine ethno-political inclusive government, but for now they continue to think in terms of winners and believe that they deserve to govern the country on their own. One of the main challenges for the new authorities of the country, the diplomat pointed out, is the economy. With humanitarian aid entering the country in small batches and international aid funds frozen, the Taliban are cannot cope with the cultivation of opium poppy. Although the Taliban promised to make the country drug-free. “A good goal is shattered by the everyday life. Around the cultivation of opium poppy, 5-6 million people feed, and to deprive them of this production by force, without giving anything in return, this will put the country on the verge of serious internal strife, — Kabulov said. Stop exports to the Taliban unlikely to succeed, he pointed out, since drug trafficking is organized by experienced international groups.

Once again, the situation in Afghanistan was discussed at the international conference “Afghanistan: security and economic development” that ended on July 26 in Uzbekistan. Chaired the conference. Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov. It was attended by special representatives of the EU, Great Britain, Iran, Italy, Spain, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, China, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, the USA, Japan, Turkey, representatives of the UN and other international organizations, as well as a delegation led by and about. Foreign Minister of the interim government of the Taliban movement Emirkhan Muttaki. Russia was represented by Zamir Kabulov. According to him, representatives of Western countries tried to divert the discussion towards the “human rights dimension and other hypocritical idle talk”, but regional countries sharpened the need to urgently resolve issues such as the unconditional unfreezing of national assets worth $7 billion.

If at previous conferences of this kind there was a discussion of the intra-Afghan peace process, then at Tashkent, the need for the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan came to the fore, Arkady Dubnov, an expert on Central Asian countries who participated in the conference, told RBC. According to him, the conference revealed the different attitudes of the world powers: “Even if we exclude the Ukrainian background, the atmosphere was very tense. It was not immediately noticeable, but there were no flags of countries in the congress hall, there was no final communique, which would indicate a general consensus, instead a statement was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, the meeting was attended by US Special Representative Tom West, representatives of China, countries — neighbors of Afghanistan, and in the course of discussions there has been a movement on the issue of unfreezing Afghan assets. In the context of confrontation between the West and Russia, it is the Tashkent platform that can become the leading one in ensuring a dialogue on Afghanistan, and Washington, Beijing, Moscow, and the countries of the region, including Pakistan and Iran, have confidence in Tashkent, Dubnov emphasizes. Uzbekistan intends to continue work and contacts with the Taliban government, this fits into the implementation of the so-called “Mirziyoyev Doctrine”, aimed at building good neighborly relations with neighboring countries, the expert says.

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