South Asia strategy to see no change, Pompeo tells Ghani

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South Asia strategy to see no change, Pompeo tells Ghani
South Asia strategy to see no change, Pompeo tells Ghani

WASHINGTON: US Sec­retary of State Michael Pompeo has assured Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that there will be no change in Trump administration’s South Asia strategy, the State Department said on Thursday.

The statement said that in this telephone call on Wednesday, the Afghan president and the top US diplomat “agreed that now is the time to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan”.

Secretary Pompeo “ass­ured President Ghani that there has been no change to President (Donald) Trump’s South Asia strategy, including US commitment to a conditions-based drawdown”.

Secretary Pompeo informed President Ghani that he had dispatched Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Special Repr­esentative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Kabul to discuss in detail the next steps on the road to peace.

President Ghani welcomed the Secretary’s engagement and the US visitors, and confirmed Afghanistan’s commitment to working side-by-side with the United States to achieve a stable, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan that is not a centre for terrorism, the State Department said.

President Ghani had asked for clarifications following President Trump’s remark earlier this week that he had a plan that could win the war in Afghanistan “in a week”, but he didn’t “want to kill 10 million people”.

Mr Trump made this remark in a joint news conference with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House on Monday.

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