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New strategy signals support for Afghans: Tillerson

New strategy signals support for Afghans: Tillerson

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Aug 22, 2017 - 09:52

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump’s new strategy signals clear support for the Afghan people and government.

“We will continue to support the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against terrorists and prevent the reestablishment of safe havens in the country,” he pledged. 

The new US strategy broke from previous approaches that set artificial calendar-based deadlines, he insisted, telling the Talibaninfo-icon that they would not win on the battlefield. 

The Taliban had a path to peace and political legitimacy through a negotiated political settlement to end the war, the secretary said, supporting open peace talks between Kabulinfo-icon and the Taliban. 

“We look to the international community, particularly Afghanistaninfo-icon’s neighbors, to join us in supporting an Afghan peace process,” he said.  

Pakistaninfo-icon has suffered greatly from terrorism and can be an important partner in our shared goals of peace and stability in the region. We look to Pakistan to take decisive action against militant groups on its soil. 

He believed vital to US interests that Afghanistan and Pakistan prevented terrorist sanctuaries, Tillerson said.  

“India will be an important partner in the effort to ensure peace and stability in the region, and we welcome its role in supporting Afghanistan’s political and economic modernisation,” Tillerson said.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the president had provided his strategic guidance for the South Asia strategy following a rigorous interagency review. 

 “I have directed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make preparations to carry out the president’s strategy. I will be in consultation with the secretary-general of NATOinfo-icon and our allies, several of which have also committed to increasing the troop numbers. 

“Together, we will assist the Afghan security forces to destroy the terrorist hub,” Mattis added.

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