Commitment to Afghans will endure beyond war: Obama
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): American's combat mission might be over, but its long-term commitment to in Afghanistan was not over, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday as he announced to keep 9,800 troops in the South Asian country.
"Our commitment to the Afghanistan people will endure,” Obama told reporters at a joint White House news conference with President Ashraf Ghani at the conclusion of their maiden summit in the Oval Office. Chief Executive Dr Abdullah and US Vice President Joe Biden were also in attendance.
Ghani had requested some flexibility on US drawdown timelines, said Obama, who consulted with General (John) Campbell, his national security team before deciding to maintain the current posture of 9,800 troops through the end of the year.
Obama praised the effort of Ghani to reach out to Pakistan. “Since the best way to ensure Afghan's progress is a political settlement, we're going to continue to support an Afghan-led reconciliation process,” he said.
President Ghani had demonstrated bold leadership in reaching out to Pakistan, which was critical to the pursuit of peace, he said, asking the Taliban to break ties with Al Qaida, renounce violence and abide by Afghan laws, including the protections for women and minorities.
For his part, Ghani said the government of national unity was going to be an enduring phenomena. “And both of us stand for unity against the divisions that our opponents and enemies had hoped for,” he remarked.
“This unity is a reflection of the desire of the Afghan public to overcome the last 200 years of our political history, where rarely public figures have chosen the country before themselves. We are committed to emulate the founding fathers and mothers of the US, where national interest will stand above personal interest,” he said.
The president added today the combat role of the United States in Afghanistan was over, but the train, advice and assist mission remained a vital part of collective interest and collective effort.
Ghani hoped the flexibility would allow his administration to accelerate reforms to ensure its security forces were better trained and focused on their fundamental mission and to honour human rights. "Tragedy brought us together, interests now unite us."
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