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Russian minister's remarks on Daesh militant movements from Pakistan 'slip of tongue': foreign ministry

Updated February 01, 2019

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zhakharova. ─ Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zhakharova. ─ Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Zubov's recent remarks about the alleged movement of Daesh militants from Pakistan to Tajikistan via helicopter as a "slip of tongue", Radio Pakistan reported.

Zubov had reportedly said on Jan 28 that fighters with ties to the militant Islamic State (IS) group were being transferred via unidentified helicopters from the Pakistani border to the Tajikistani border "in the direction of the southern borders of Russia".

The minister had also claimed that Moscow may be preparing for provocations that affect Russia, Sputnik reported.

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However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zhakharova dismissed Zubov's remarks during a weekly press briefing today, saying that they were a "slip of the tongue".

She added that Russia and Pakistan share common concerns regarding the growing momentum of Daesh militants and their expansion in the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border area.

Zhakharova said that Moscow is closely cooperating with Islamabad in the fight against terrorism and advancing the peace process in Afghanistan.

The Russian official highlighted the "great contribution" made by all countries bordering Afghanistan, and said that Moscow will serve as a reliable partner in every effort to ensure security of borders, according to Radio Pakistan.