12 Feb 2019 16:29

Interaction with Taliban against ISIL in Afghanistan possible - Russian diplomat

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) - Cooperation with the Taliban, which is currently banned in Russia as a terrorist organization, is well possible to fight Islamic State (ISIL, banned in Russia) in Afghanistan, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department and presidential representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told Interfax on Tuesday.

"Why not?" Kabulov replied when asked at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday whether cooperation with the Taliban is possible in fighting ISIL.

"First, the Taliban is beating ISIL in Afghanistan quite successfully even without such cooperation," Kabulov said.

In particular, the Taliban destroyed a major ISIL group in the Badghis Province in northern Afghanistan, he said.

"Some ISIL militants who survived, understanding that the Taliban would finish them off, had to flee and surrender to the Afghan Armed Forces. And then the Americans transferred them to the central part of Afghanistan," Kabulov said.

"Has anyone else carried out such an operation against ISIL in Afghanistan? Can't recall such a thing. But the Taliban has," Kabulov said.