PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Russia has named an honorary consul in a Pakistani province on the Afghan border, signaling closer ties with Islamabad at a time when U.S.-Pakistani relations are spiraling downward.
The appointment of Arsala Khan as honorary consul general in the northwestern Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province was announced at a ceremony Tuesday. Gov. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said it signaled a “new chapter” of renewed diplomatic relations.
Russia is concerned about the rise of an Islamic State affiliate based in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, just across the border.
The U.S. has meanwhile suspended aid to Pakistan over its alleged support for the Afghan Taliban. The Trump administration and the Afghan government have accused Pakistan of harboring Taliban insurgents who attack U.S. and Afghan forces, charges denied by Islamabad.