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Afghan leaders welcome US strategy for Afghanistan

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Afghan officials have welcomed US new strategy for Afghanistan. A statement issued by Presidential Palace said that President Ashraf Ghani welcomes the decision by President Donald Trump, which shows an enduring commitment by Afghanistan’s foundational partner in this global conflict.

US President Donald Trump during announcement of new strategy on Tuesday early morning, did not talk about the number of troops, but said “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.”

“Our troops will fight to win.  We will fight to win.  From now on, victory will have a clear definition:  attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”

He added: “We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own.  We are confident they will.  Since taking office, I have made clear that our allies and partners must contribute much more money to our collective defense, and they have done so.”

Afghanistan is fighting to defend and secure their country against the same enemies who threaten us,” Trumps said, adding, the stronger the Afghan security forces become, the less we will have to do.  Afghans will secure and build their own nation and define their own future.  We want them to succeed.”

On Pakistan issue, Trump vowed to change the US’s approach to dealing with the Afghan neighbor, promising to crackdown on Pakistan’s harboring of terrorist and militant groups.

“They are housing the very terrorists we are fighting,” Trump said, noting that the US gives Pakistan billions of dollars. “That will have to change and that will change immediately. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.”

President Ghani said, “I am grateful to president Trump and the American people for this affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint struggle to rid the region from the threat of terrorism.”

The new strategy would also increase capacity in the Resolute Support Mission. It puts particular emphasis on enhancing Afghan air power, doubling the size of the Afghan Special Forces, and deepening NATO’s ability to train, advice and assist Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

This announcement is part of a package of support enabling Afghans to achieve the goal of stability and self-reliance, by focusing on efforts for the eradication of poverty, economic investment and better equipping the ANDSF to achieve its military objectives. The Afghan government is prioritizing accelerating its rigorous reform agenda to eradicate corruption, and enhance effectiveness, transparency, and rule of law.

Following this strategy towards stability allows the region to work together in achieving mutual goals of peace and prosperity, and provides a clear pathway for regional countries to end support for non-state actors.

“The US Afghan partnership is stronger than ever in overcoming the threat of terrorism that threatens us all. The strength of our security forces should show the Taliban and others that they cannot win a military victory.  The objective of peace is paramount. Peace remains our priority,” said President Ghani.

The Afghan government welcomes renewed US emphasis on seeing security in Afghanistan as part of a wider regional package. The strategy complements Afghan initiatives, including the Kabul process that seeks to engage the region in sharing common security burdens.

While welcoming the new US strategy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, said that this is an opportunity to region countries and the Taliban insurgents.

President Deputy Spokesman Shah Husain Murtazawi speaking to a mediamen “on challenges of media” pointed toward US President Trump new strategy for Afghanistan, said “whatever announced in the new strategy is at the favor of region.”

He said that it’s more important that the new strategy obliges and remind the region countries that dual diplomacy and division of terrorist to good and bad won’t lasting anymore.

In the new strategy USA demand from region countries to seriously act against terrorism, he added. He said that Afghanistan and USA relation is a strategic and defined relation.

He stated that the new strategy which announced is not about the discussion over timeline, the important point is what we achieve in a longest combat against terrorism and security reinforcement.

Moreover, Taliban in a statement said that finally the American president Trump announced his strategy and has called for continued presence of occupying forces while labeling Afghanistan as a threat to America.

It seems America is not yet ready to end the longest war in its history. Instead of trying to understand ground realities, they still arrogantly believe in their force and might, the statement added.

However the Afghans have been tested by the American forces over the past sixteen years. So long as a single American soldier remains in our homeland and American leaders continue treading the path of war, we shall also sustain our fight against them with lofty spirits, absolute determination and additional firmness, Taliban read in the statement.

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