Chinese, Russian presidents to discuss IS threat in Afghanistan
BEIJING (Pajhwok): Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, along with other world leaders, are set to discuss the emerging Islamic State (IS) threat in Afghanistan during the Eurasian security summit in Russia this week, a media report said on Monday.
Xi travels to the Russian city of Ufa for a summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday of leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Media reports it will be preceded by a meeting of leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told journalists. “….spillover effect of the Islamic State terrorist activities, Afghanistan now faces a grim security situation. SCO leaders will talk further about how to respond to the security situation there."
China is seeking business interests in Afghanistan and is sensitive to any spillover of Islamic-inspired extremism from the country, which has a short border with its mostly Muslim western region of Xinjiang.
Afghanistan has "observer" status in the SCO, along with India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, according to the group's website.
The summit will begin procedures for India and Pakistan to join the group as full members after their candidatures were approved last year, Cheng said.
The acceptance of the nuclear-armed rivals -- which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 and are jockeying for influence in Afghanistan -- would mark the SCO's first expansion since its inception in 2001.
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