UPDATED 8:42 AM PT — Thursday, May 16, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging greater cooperation with the U.S. on the peace process in Afghanistan. During his meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, Putin warned the Taliban is getting stronger in the Middle Eastern country.
The Russian leader said a balance of power is necessary to ensure peace after the upcoming pull-out of U.S. forces from that country.
U.S. officials believe the Taliban has a presence in half of Afghanistan’s districts, and controls roughly 35-percent of the country’s population.
Pompeo said he will work with Russian officials on the Afghan peace settlement.
“On Afghanistan, we’ve done good work – counterterrorism work – together,” he stated. “These are things we can build upon, and I know we’ll get a chance to talk about our strategic security dialogue as well and the hopes that we have for that to work alongside you on that very, very globally important project.”
Putin and Pompeo also highlighted the productive cooperation between Russian and American specialists in Afghanistan in bringing stability to the region.