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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajiks Call Afghan War A Threat

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov told a government meeting Tuesday that fighting raging in Afghanistan near the border was a threat to the Central Asian region.

"What is happening in Afghanistan is strictly an internal affair, but at the same time Tajikistan cannot be indifferent to what is going on so close to our southern border, which is becoming a growing threat to peace and security in the region and beyond," his spokesman quoted him as telling the meeting.

The spokesman said the Russian ambassador and Russian military officials had attended.

The Taliban militia, which controls some 90 percent of Afghan territory, has clashed near the Tajik border with troops loyal to ousted President Burhanuddin Rabbani, whose legitimacy is still recognized by the United Nations four years after leaving Kabul.

Fighting has moved to within kilometers of the border and Russian troops have increased security on the Tajik side.

In Moscow, officials said Kremlin envoy Sergei Yastrzhembsky had arrived in Pakistan, which also borders Afghanistan, for talks that news reports said would almost certainly focus on the Afghan situation.

Agencies said Yastrzhembsky would meet Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sittar and pass on a message from President Vladimir Putin.