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Trump pushes for Afghanistan withdrawal amid Republican opposition

KABUL: As opposition of US Senate Republications is growing over Afghanistan drawdown, President Donald Trump reiterated on Tuesday his rhetoric considering withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

In his State of the Union address hours after the Senate voted overwhelmingly for keeping US forces in Afghanistan, Trump defended his position and recalled he had frequently discussed pulling US troops out of overseas conflicts during the 2016 election.

“As a candidate for president, I pledged a new approach. Great nations do not fight endless wars,” Trump said.

The US had spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle Eastern region, he added. “I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan. The opposing side is also very happy to be negotiating.

He said the US troops have fought with unmatched valor — and thanks to their bravery. “We are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.”

The president saidnearly 7,000 Americans had laid down their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 52,000 Americans had been wounded.

He said the US in Afghanistan was holding constructive talks with a number of groups, including the Taliban. He hoped his administration would be able to reduce its troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism.

“We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace. And the other side would like to do the same thing. It is time,” said President Trump.

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