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Islamic State starts actively extending influence near Sahel — Russia FM

April 20, 2016, 16:35 UTC+3

The Russian minister noted that peace and security in Africa are Russia’s priorities

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© SANA via AP

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, banned in Russia, has started actively extending influence near Sahel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday after talks with Chairwoman of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"We were speaking of settlement of conflicts and crises on the African continent - in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Burundi, the Horn of Africa," Lavrov said.

"We are concerned over the increasing terrorist threat, which also comes from various extremist groups on the continent, in particular, near Sahel, where the IS actively extends its influence and begins to closely interact with local terrorist structures," he said.

Peace and security are Russia’s priorities in Africa

The minister also noted that peace and security in Africa are Russia’s priorities.

"Our meetings have become regular, we value this very much. This helps to boost a dialog," the foreign minister said, noting the role of a memorandum on regular political consultations signed in September 2014.

"We solidarize with position of the African Union towards peace and security, towards a stable development," the minister noted, saying Moscow was aimed "at deepening further relations of partnership".

Nkozana Dlamini Zuma, for her part, marked Russia’s importance for the African continent, noting also that many African specialists had graduated from Russian higher education institutions.

She also said the African Union was aiming to settle all conflicts before the year 2020.

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