Afghan warlord Syed Mohammad Akbar Agha said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, a Russian media outlet that favors the Kremlin, that the Taliban has been meeting with Russia for three years in order to foster stronger ties and rid the Middle East of Western influence, especially American forces, reports The Moscow Times. This change of heart is significant since the Mujahideen were born fighting the Russians in the Afghan war in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
The Taliban has offered to protect “Russian borders” of the former Soviet territories and prevent jihad from filtering into Russia from the south. The medieval organization has been offering for several years to meet Russian envoys at ‘their office’ in the UAE.
“The hatred and hostility left from the Soviet invasion has run its course,” the warlord said. “We are ready to shake hands with Russia in order to rid ourselves of the scourge of America. History has proven that we are closer to Russia and the former Soviet republics than to the West.”
Regarding Moscow’s campaign against the Islamic State, Akbar Agha said, “There’s this eternal policy of “divide and rule” which splits Sunni and Shiite Muslims [in Iraq]…We’ve never had such problems in Afghanistan and we never will.
“The Islamic State here is made of foreign mercenaries. Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tajiks and Russian citizens, as well as Arabs and those who have defected from the Taliban. The movement wants to target Central Asia, destabilize the region and threaten Russia’s borders,” he said.