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Diplomacy

Afghanistan seeks clarification on Trump’s remarks

President Trump said he could end the conflict in Afghanistan by wiping out the country.


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Updated: July 24, 2019

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday asked the US government to clarify about President Donald Trump’s remark where he claimed that “he could easily win the war in 10 days” but that he didn’t “want to kill millions of people”.

US President made several statements alongside Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, including that he had plans for a quick end to the Afghan conflict, but which would “wipe the country off the face of the Earth”.

Trump said, “Afghanistan would be gone. It would be over in literally in 10 days”.

“I don’t want to go that route”, he added.

His comments sparked outrage in Afghanistan, where the war-weary and traumatised population is already worried about a precipitous pull-out of US forces and whether that means a return to Taliban rule and a spiralling civil war.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan calls for clarification on the US president’s statements expressed at a meeting with the Pakistan prime minister, via diplomatic means and channels,” Ashraf Ghani’s office said in a statement.

A press release that was issued by Afghanistan on Tuesday, mentioned that “the Afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate”.

“Our cooperation and partnership with the world countries, particularly with the United States, is grounded on common interests and mutual respect. While the Afghan government supports the US efforts for ensuring peace in Afghanistan, the government underscores that foreign heads of state cannot determine Afghanistan’s fate in absence of the Afghan leadership. Afghanistan will remain dignified and firm in the global political arena”, the press release said.

Donald Trump had also said that Pakistan would help the US “extricate” itself from Afghanistan while adding that there was “tremendous potential” in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

Afghanistan also blamed Pakistan for fuelling the Afghan conflict and for supporting the Taliban, and Ghani is furious about being continually sidelined by the US in ongoing peace talks with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Trump’s peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Tuesday ahead of what will be the eighth round of direct talks he has held with the Taliban.

The discussions are expected to get underway in Doha in the coming days, with Ghani and his administration once again locked out.



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The Statesman
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