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US to support Afghanistan for years to come: Carter

US to support Afghanistan for years to come: Carter

Dec 09, 2016 - 17:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday assured Afghanistaninfo-icon of sustained strategic support from the United States of America.

Hours after his unannounced visit to Kabul, the secretary told a joint news conference with President Ashraf Ghani: “Today, we once again agreed on continued strategic partnership.”

The secretary, who is going to be replaced by Marine Gen. James Mattis within days, added his country would remain committed to a sovereign and stable Afghanistan.

Carter commended President Ghani’s recognition of the sacrifices being rendered by international troops, particularly the American military personnel, in Afghanistan.

“Our strategic cooperation with Afghanistan will continue for years to come; we will show the worldinfo-icon that the US remains committed to a stable, secure self-reliant Afghanistan,” he reaffirmed.

The US and the international community had promised to support Afghan security forces until 2020, he said, acknowledging a marked improvement in local security personnel’s performance.

“US troops are fighting together with their Afghan partners to ensure Afghanistan’s sovereignty and American’s security,” the president remarked. He hailed Carter as Afghanistan’s abiding friend, who had been able to muster a lot of international support for the Afghan security forces.

Addressing the secretary, the president said: “At the Warsaw summit, you played an important role in shaping global consensus on the need for equipping and training Afghan forces…”

Evolving the consensus without Carter’s support would have been a hard task, Ghani admitted, saying the Afghans being a thankful nation viewed America as a long-term friend.

Later, the secretary left for the Bagram Airbase in central Parwan province to meet military commanders.

Less than 10,000 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan to train and advise Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups.



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