19 January 2018

New US Afghan policy in Trump era

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Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan has said the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should change Washington’s longstanding Afghan policy. reports that, Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to Afghanistan and director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department, made the assertion..

"We expect that Donald Trump will tailor a new American approach to Afghanistan," Kabulov said.

His remarks came shortly before the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which began on Dec. 27, 1979 and ended ten years later.

Kabulov rejects the assertion that as many as one million Afghans were killed during the conflict, noting that neither Russia nor the other countries involved kept a precise record of casualties.

The "one million casualties" figure, he says, was "invented by the Americans" later in order to portray the Russians as "butchers".

He criticized Washington’s current Afghanistan strategy and the reasons behind the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of the country.

"Let's see the new president, Trump, describe his Afghan policy," he said. "Then we will judge."

Noting that the U.S. had spent "almost $1 trillion" in Afghanistan over the last 15 years, Kabulov described the results of the massive expenditure as "negative".

Looking at the country’s current situation, he said, "I presume Mr. Trump should do something to change it," in reference to Washington’s Afghan policy.

Asserting that conferences alone could not bring peace to the conflict-ridden country, he said: "Peace must be between the Taliban and the Afghan government."

He added: "If there is no change in international efforts for Afghanistan" -- efforts to improve its economy, political administration and military -- "Afghanistan will not have a future at all; it will disappear."

"We do not want this scenario," he concluded, "because from all accounts, it is against the interest of my country and the entire region."

"It will be very damaging and dangerous," he said.

2016.12.27 / 23:43
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