Afghan President Ashraf Ghani emphasizes terrorist threats, backs new United States strategy

Cheryl Sanders
September 21, 2017

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, President Ashraf Ghani called on countries in the region to change their mind on the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and that it is the time for talks between regional nations and Afghanistan. "I call upon Pakistan to engage with us in a comprehensive state to state dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation leading to prosperity", he said. "But this war is not within our soil, it is over our soil", Ghani said. Today, there are over 20 worldwide terrorist groups with an imposed presence on Afghan soil.

Abbasi's meeting with Pence was the highest contact between the two countries since Trump announced his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia on 21 August in which he had warned Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.

Ghani said the US strategy is three-fold - double the size of the Afghan commando force and elevating it from a division to a corps command, bolster Afghanistan's military airpower and overhaul military leadership as part of broader reform of the Afghan security forces.

"President Trump's new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries", the Afghan president added.

"We have six ground army corps commands in various parts of Afghanistan", Ghani said. "In the 20th century, the world came together to push back the spread of fascism, so that democratic freedoms could be secured".

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday that just over 3,000 additional United States troops were in the process of deploying to Afghanistan in order to be part of a "stronger train, advise and assist effort".

"Today, these very freedoms are under attack from global terrorism".

"With President Trump's recent announcement of his strategy to counter terror and stabilize South Asia, Afghanistan's enduring partnership with the United States and the worldwide community has been renewed and redirected", Ghani told the audience at the UN headquarters in NY. "It is easy to illustrate this uncertainty by looking at threats we are facing to our economies, our security, and our values", Ghani further said. The threat of economic crisis, therefore, still hangs over us.

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