Addressing an ongoing conference in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday, Zarif warned against threats emanating from terrorist and extremist groups in Afghanistan, including Daesh.
He said the presence of elements which instigate insecurity in Afghanistan, particularly Daesh terrorist group, and divisions within the ranks of Afghanistan’s Taliban, which could serve the interests of Daesh militants, are among serious concerns facing Afghanistan.
“Today, extremism, terrorism and narcotics pose great challenges and threats to Afghanistan, the region and the entire world and unfortunately the terror groups are increasing the extent of their infiltration into Afghanistan,” Zarif said.
He also reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Afghan nation and government, stressing that all regional countries, including the Islamic Republic, will benefit from a secure, flourishing and self-sufficient Afghanistan.
The 5th Heart of Asia ministerial meeting kicked off in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan 14 years after the US-led invasion of the country. The meeting is attended by the foreign ministers of 26 countries.
The meeting seeks peace and development in Afghanistan and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism and extremism. The forum also seeks to promote economic development in the region and aims to encourage cooperation in curbing drug trafficking and other organized crimes in the region.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The 2001 attack overthrew the Taliban, but many areas across Afghanistan still face violence and insecurity.
Some districts in Afghanistan, including the volatile Nangarhar Province, have been witnessing a rise in the number of Daesh terrorists in recent months as the terror group, which is mainly operating in Iraq and Syria, is making inroads in Afghanistan with the number of its followers growing across the country.