Trump, Ghani discuss terrorism, Afghan security

Riyadh, (IANS) US President Donald Trump and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism, a White House statement said on Monday.

In a brief meeting on the sidelines of the Arab Islamic American Summit here on Sunday, “Trump welcomed Ghani’s leadership in Afghanistan on fighting terrorism and implementing key reforms”, Tolo News quoted the statement as saying.

“The President commended the brave service of Afghan security forces as they fight to secure their country,” it said.

The US has been considering sending additional troops to help prop up the Afghan security forces, after a Taliban attack against a military base in Balkh province in April left over 150 soldiers dead.

There are currently 8,400 US troops and 5,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, and 3,000 additional troops are considered for deployment in the country.

Afghanistan has been facing instability for years with government troops fighting the Taliban as well as other “terrorist” groups, including the Islamic State militant group, in the country.

US and NATO forces in the country are in a non-combat role and train, advise and assist government troops.

It is expected that an announcement on a revised US policy on Afghanistan and an increase in troops could be made at the upcoming Brussels meeting on security which is scheduled for later this week.

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