President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan is based on need and that no Afghans want them for the long term in the country.
Through a televised address, Ghani said based on an international agreement, foreign forces will not be required in the country in the future.
“No Afghans want foreign forces in their country for the long term,” Ghani said. “The current presence of foreign forces is based on need, and this need has always been contemplated and will be contemplated… And according to an exact and arranged plan, we are trying to bring down that number to zero.”
Ghani reiterated his call on the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government, adding that the Taliban have two options – either join the peace process or will remain as a tool for achieving goals of outsiders.
The president’s comments came as the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met President Ghani in Kabul, where he briefed him of his six days of meeting with the Taliban representatives in Qatar which ended on Saturday.