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No talks with Daesh, says outgoing US ambassador

No talks with Daesh, says outgoing US ambassador

Nov 16, 2017 - 08:31

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The outgoing US ambassador has hailed President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistaninfo-icon, saying the policy commits America’s sustained support to the war-torn nation.

Hugo Llorens, who is leaving after a year on the job, noted what he called a critical switch from timelines to conditions on the ground.

Under the new strategy, he said in an interview with VOA, the US would support Afghanistan “as long as it takes to get the job done”.

The old strategy based on a calendar with a specific end, made it easy for the enemy to guess their moves, he acknowledged, while commending Trump’s conditions-based approach.

Llorens said while the Talibaninfo-icon expanded territorial gains over the past year as the Afghan government concentrated on protecting urban areas, the militants had made little headway in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

“If you measure by population, the Taliban still control a very small part of country. It doesn't mean they are not a problem; we all know the reality. People are tired of them; they are coming here and bringing death and destruction to the country,” he said.

The top US diplomat asked Pakistaninfo-icon to play a more positive role in fostering peace. “They (Taliban) receive support from the country next door, Pakistan,” Llorens alleged.

“The Taliban leadership is in Pakistan, their bases are in Pakistan and their logistics to a significant degree come from Pakistan, their arms, ammunition, their training, and … many young men who are radicalized ... in madrassas.”

The Taliban could be convinced into joining peace talks, he suggested, saying: “I do not think there is any way we can reconcile with ISIS. The only way is to fight them, and our objective is working with Afghan partners to completely eliminate the ISIS threat from Afghanistan...”

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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