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Putin says US withdrawal from Afghanistan important for Russia, but why?

All eyes are on 'graveyard of empires': US, China, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, India, KSA, UAE and Qatar among others are all interested in Afghanistan, but why?

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The Russian president on Thursday said the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is an important issue for Russia.

Speaking at a meeting in Moscow, Vladimir Putin pointed out that Afghanistan has a common border with Tajikistan where Russia has its military base, and Tajikistan is also a member of the Russia-led military bloc – Collective Security Treaty Organization.

“American troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan. This is very close to us, we have a military base in Tajikistan. How we will build relations in this area, how we will ensure security in the region – this is a very important practical issue,” he said.

Read more: Afghanistan’s key role in re-boosting Pak-Russian relations

Putin confirmed that this topic was on the agenda of his meeting with his US counterpart in Geneva on Wednesday. The two met for the first time since Joe Biden assumed charge on Jan. 20.

They discussed arms control, global and cybersecurity, regional conflicts and cooperation in the Arctic.

Biden focused, energetic

Sharing his personal impressions about Biden, Putin said the US president is different from how he is shown in the media.

Putin recalled that despite a long journey and jet lag, Biden was energetic both physically and mentally.

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“Biden is a professional. And you need to work very carefully with him … he is focused, understands what he wants to achieve. And he does it very skillfully. You can feel it right away.”

In general, the atmosphere was quite “well-wishing” and we were able to understand each other, our positions on key issues, the Russian president said.

Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace solution

As both regional, external and internal players have used Afghan soil as a chessboard to checkmate one other to garb power and secure maximum interests, the people of the country have faced the brunt of the aggression. The economy of the country has been devastated and social institutions such as health, education, and family had suffered intensely and terribly.

Read more: Afghanistan’s tricky endgame: What should Pakistan do?

Scarred by the wounds of the lawlessness and violence, the people of Afghanistan are desperate to see the light of day, and therefore, all stakeholders in the Afghan peace process must do whatever they can to formulate a lasting peace accord ensuring that foreign forces should not interfere with the nation-building.

Such an approach brings forth the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process that respects the sovereignty and territorial inviolability of the state and leaves the people of Afghanistan to decide their political future.

The role of the foreign powers is grounded on providing good offices and mediation to facilitate the peace process and help in removing the stumbling blocks in the midst.

Read more: Washington must save the Afghan peace process while there is still time

However, the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is complicated in a country like Afghanistan where regional and external countries have competing vested interests. Since Afghanistan is an ethnically diverse country, various powers have employed its soil to wage proxy wards and influence the country’s politics accordingly.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

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