Keep supporting Afghanistan, Obama successor urged
KABUL (Pajhwok): A former Afghan diplomat has underlined the need for America’s continued assistance to his conflict-devastated even after the change of the US administration.
"I think it would be detrimental if the United States withdraws or suddenly stops being engaged in Afghanistan," Omar Samad said in an interview with a major Russian news service.
The ex-ambassador to Canada said the US role in Afghanistan would be defined by the result of the upcoming presidential elections in the US and prior commitments from Washington.
President Barack Obama haspledged to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan through most of 2016. By the he leaves the White House, he plans to cut the US troop strength to 5,500.
But Samad urged the US, as indeed the entire global fraternity, to send the Taliban and other insurgent groups a clear message that they continued to stand firmly behind the Afghan people.
Safeguarding the gainsmade over the last 15 yearsin Afghanistan, where the US has appropriated more than $68 billion to recruit, train, equip and pay the Afghan forces, was in the interest of all stakeholders, he said.
Since the ouster of the Taliban regime, the US has pledged more than $113 billion for reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, a country still grappling with the Taliban insurgency.
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