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Russia concerned over growing IS influence in Afghanistan - Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry also said that great concerns are caused by aspirations of the Islamic State group to acquire other units of the armed opposition

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Russia is concerned over the situation in Afghanistan, related to the spreading influence of the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, outlawed in Russia) and growing combat activities of the opposition in the country, the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary published on the eve of the working visit by Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani to Moscow, due on February 7.

"We watch closely the situation with security in Afghanistan, and we are concerned about the growing combat and terrorist activities of the armed opposition," the Foreign Ministry said. "Great concerns are caused by the spread of influence of the Islamic State group, its aspirations to acquire other units of the armed opposition."

Russia is ready to favor process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan in the framework of consultations on the Afghani problems, the ministry said in the commentary.

"We consider as important directions the continuing military-technical cooperation with Kabul, support in improvement of combat capacity of the Afghani national security forces, as well as training of the republic’s military and police personnel by Russian respective authorities," the Foreign Ministry said.

"A major event in development of the cultural contacts between our countries would be a due opening of the Russian center for sciences and culture in Kabul," the Russian ministry said, commenting on developing cooperation with Afghanistan in the humanitarian sphere.