U.S. President Donald Trump met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the 72nd session of UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues including the combat against terrorism, U.S. new strategy and the progress of the Afghan and American forces in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
In the meeting, Ghani praised Trump for the new war strategy, as a day earlier he said that Trump’s plan has the potential to be more successful than former President Barack Obama’s.
“It is a difference of day and night,” Ghani said at a meeting with Trump. “The cloud of uncertainty has been lifted, but equally important is your commitment to a political solution at the end of this process.”
Trump said that 20 terrorist groups are operating in Afghanistan, he assured of eliminating these groups for reaching success. “I think we are going to be successful, for a number of reasons but of the reasons is to stop these terrorist organizations,” Trump said.
Praising the combat efforts to drive the Taliban and terror groups out of Afghanistan, Trump said that the Afghan forces are fighting the terrorists with “immense bravery”, adding that the U.S. will continue to train and assist them.
He stressed that the joint Afghan-U.S. forces are making headway against their opposition. “It’s really a hornet’s nest from that standpoint,” he said. “We are hitting them very, very hard and very effectively. We really have no choice but to do it.”
Trump further said that U.S. is fully committed to security and stability of, will stand firm with the country to combat terrorism.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said this week that the U.S. is sending more than 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as part of the new strategy for the war-torn country.
In turn, Ghani saluted Trump’s decision to bolster U.S. forces. “First of all I would like to pay tribute to American soldiers, officers and civilians particularly those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Ghani said.
He also stressed that Afghan forces were leading the fight and said he did not want “a blank check” offering unlimited American help.
Ghani said earlier in the week that the Trump administration has a four-year objective to bring 80 percent of the country back under the government’s control.