President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I am very happy to see you.
Right now, we are witnessing processes that are of great concern to us. The Taliban is active and it controls a significant part of Afghanistan’s territory, many border crossing points. But what is even more disturbing is that the so-called Islamic State is getting increasingly active in Afghanistan, consolidating its position there. I believe we are already seeing the Islamic State’s presence in 25 out of the 34 provinces.
So I have many questions, and naturally, I am very happy for this opportunity to speak with you – a person with a thorough knowledge and clear understanding of what is happening in the region overall and in Afghanistan in particular, and to exchange views on the situation.
Hamid Karzai (retranslated): The Islamic State is an entirely different case: they are not in any way associated with Afghanistan; they are not ours, not homegrown. And without a doubt, Mr President, their upsurge is supported by external forces.
The fact is, they were not created for Afghanistan – they are using Afghanistan as a launching pad to spread their influence across the region. And Russia and Afghanistan should certainly focus on countering this threat.