ISIL threat in Afghanistan to top upcoming SCO summit agenda

MOSCOW: The ISIL terrorist threat in Afghanistan will top the agenda of the upcoming leader’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia later this week, a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official says.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders of the SCO member countries will discuss the threat the Takfiri terrorist group poses in Afghanistan at the Eurasian security summit in Russia this week, said China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping in a Monday press briefing as cited in an news report.

He emphasized that due to the “spillover effect” of the ISIL terrorist campaign, “Afghanistan now faces a grim security situation.”

SCO leaders “will certainly have in-depth discussions on the Afghan issue,” Cheng said, adding, “They will talk further about how to respond to the security situation there.”

The development comes as China is reportedly seeking to establish business interests in Afghanistan and is increasingly concerned over any spillover of Takfiri radicalism to the country, which has a short border with China’s mostly Muslim western region of Xinjiang.

According to the report, Xi will travel to the Russian city of Ufa for the SCO summit on Thursday.

The SCO members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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