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Russia supports sovereign, terrorism-free Afghanistan

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KABUL: Russia Special Representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov said that Russia does not want Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for the international terrorist groups.

Mr. Kabulov said this during an interview with RBC TV, where he termed international terrorist groups as a threat to the national interest of Russia, but he sees the huge drug trafficking in Afghanistan as a threat to his country’s national interest.

He said that despite the US presence for more than two decades, the situation in Afghanistan did not improve.

Kabulov stressed on a sovereign government in Afghanistan which is important to tackle security challenges.

This is as the United States and NATO officially began withdrawing their last troops from Afghanistan on May 1.

Up to 3,500 U.S. troops and some 7,000 NATO soldiers are to leave Afghanistan by September 11, ending two decades of foreign military presence.

U.S. and NATO troops, as well as military equipment had already started leaving the country, but Washington has made an issue of the May 1 date because it is a deadline agreed with the Taliban in February 2020 to complete the pullout.

Amid concerns that an emboldened Taliban might attack the forces during the withdrawal process, a NATO official said any attacks would be met with a forceful response.

Recently, the acting Afghan Interior Minister Hayatullah Hayat ordered top police commanders to “increase the checkpoints in cities and carry out search operations on entry gates,” saying the Taliban “might increase the violence.”

A stark reminder of the continued insecurity came late on April 30, when a car-bomb explosion in Pul-e Alam, the capital of Logar Province, killed at least 30 people and wounded more than 100.

No one claimed responsibility for the blast.U.S. President Joe Biden last month announced the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

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