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Mideast conference attendees discuss ISIL threat amid Afghanistan crisis

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 August 2021, 12:57 IST

At an international conference hosted by Iraq, leaders and ministers from nine Middle Eastern nations and France on Saturday discussed efforts to eliminate the threat of the Islamic State (ISIL) amid the volatile situation in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover of the war-torn nation.

Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership was held in Baghdad on August 28, 2021, after a deadly suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, reported NHK World.

The attack was claimed by members of a regional affiliate of Islamic State terror group - Islamic-State Khorasan (IS-K) that killed 13 US service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians in the attack at the Kabul airport.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the Islamic State group remains a threat and that the countries must not lower their guard, reported NHK World.

The participants also agreed on increased cooperation to help rebuild the economy of Iraq, where many infrastructure facilities were destroyed in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Among the participants were foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and Iran, which severed their diplomatic relations five years ago, reported NHK World.

It is learnt that the Haqqani network and IS-K are partners in drug enterprise and money laundering. Islamic State-Khorasan which surfaced in 2015, operates from Nangarhar district bordering Pakistan, from a well-known drug trade route.

IS-K and Taliban remain at odds with each other. The Islamic state was dead against any negotiation and power deal with western powers initiated in Doha. Observers here feel that Haqqanis who are expected to be part of the power structure in Afghanistan will be used by Pakistan's ISI to destabilize the regional security balance.

IS-K which has ambitions of establishing a state in South Asia has targeted the Afghan defence forces, schools for girls and Sikh gurdwaras. In last year's attack on a gurudwara in Afghanistan, the IS-K and Haqqani network collaborated along with Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.


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First published: 29 August 2021, 12:57 IST