Urgent agenda item for Shanghai group summit: ‘Armed extremists’ in Afghanistan

Special to WorldTribune.com

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Russia says the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will discuss a “very tense situation” in Afghanistan when the grouping holds its summit in Uzbekistan this week.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain meets China's Xi Jinping in Tashkent.
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain meets China’s Xi Jinping in Tashkent.

Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said on June 22 that an estimated 60,000 “armed extremists” were fighting in Afghanistan, including 10,000 under the flag of the Islamic State group.

Leaders of the security and cooperation body — which also includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — are meeting in Tashkent on June 23-24.

Iran’s accession to the grouping will be discussed, Ushakov said, adding that “Russia believes there is no reason to refrain from accepting this country to the organization.”

India and Pakistan are expected to become SCO members at the summit next year, he added.