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Pompeo says Trump seeks political way to reduce troops in Afghanistan

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a meeting with Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds in Sydney reiterated that the US President Donald Trump is seeking a political solution which will pave the ground for troop reduction in Afghanistan.

“(US) President (Donald) Trump has made very clear that his desire is that we develop a diplomatic resolution that permits us to reduce the resources that are located in the country, while simultaneously ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a platform (from) where terror can strike the United States of America,” Pompeo was quoted as saying in a report on Sunday.

His remarks come as the eighth round of US-Taliban talks which seem to the be last round of the negotiations are underway in Doha where troop withdrawal is one of the main issues under debate.  

The Australian Defense Minister meanwhile said the Afghan war has a political solution and that his country’s stance on Afghanistan is dependent on the results of the peace process and presidential election.

“It was very clear to me there that a negotiated settlement is the only way forward for peace in Afghanistan,” she said. “Our position is under constant review, as you would expect, and we are now waiting to see what happens with the 28 September elections and also with the next round of peace talks.”

Reynolds said they have not decided on their position in Afghanistan but added that they will take any future considerations in Afghanistan in terms of other regional priorities and issues.

“But again, whatever we do there has got to be at the behest of the Afghan government,” she said.

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