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Pompeo says US never seeks permanent presence in Afghanistan

AT News Report

KABUL: As the US and Taliban are being closed to a peace deal, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said that Washington “has never sought a permanent military presence in Afghanistan.”

He said that US mission in Afghanistan was to defeat al-Qaida, adding that such efforts should be continuing to counter the terrorism in the country. “Our 18 years of military, diplomatic and economic engagement there transformed Afghan society, and we crushed al-Qaida,” Pompeo added.

He called the US war in Afghanistan as the longest, adding “there are young adults entering college just this week, who weren’t even born when the United States starting fighting in Afghanistan.”

Pompeo said that he had received a decree from US President, Donald Trump to bring as large number of troops as possible back home. He also added that Washington wants to make sure Afghanistan is never used by the terrorists as a threat to US and allies. The Secretary of State said that US would continue working, engagement and cooperation with all Afghans.

Pompeo said that he doesn’t know how the peace efforts would end but “president Trump is committed to get it right.”

US entered Afghanistan in 2001 in a bid to counter the terrorism in the region. Over 2400 US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far. However, the Pentagon has used numerous aerial and ground operations but it has not been able to eliminate the terrorists, but furthermore the violence increased across the country.

On September 2018, Trump appointed US retired diplomat, Zalmay Khalilzad as his special envoy far Afghanistan peace affairs. Khalilzad has so far held ninth rounds of talks with the Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital, Doha. According to Taliban spokesman, Suhill Shaheen both sides are close to achieve a peace deal to put an end to the longest conflicts in Afghanistan.

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