September 20, 2017
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said he welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump’s renewed resolve to win the war against the Taliban and called his country “the front lines” in the global war against terrorism in a speech before the United Nations.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 19, Ghani also appealed to neighboring Pakistan to engage in a “comprehensive state-to-state dialogue of peace, security, and regional cooperation leading to prosperity.”
“There are over 20 international terrorist groups with an imposed presence on Afghan soil. The future of Afghanistan matters because we are on the front lines of the global effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism,” he said.
“Though we may be on the front lines, the threat knows no boundaries. For terrorist groups who are harbored in the region, an attack in Kabul and an attack in Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, London, or anywhere else are equal victories,” he said.
“President Trump’s new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries,” he said.
“We welcome this strategy, which has now set us on a pathway to certainty. The Afghan people have looked to the United States for this type of resolve for years,” Ghani said.
“The strategy consolidates all instruments of American power, conveying a message that the Taliban and their backers cannot win militarily. Only through political settlement can we achieve enduring peace,” he said.
Ghani called on the Taliban, Pakistan, and all other neighbors and parties to the conflict to join negotiations aimed at forging peace.
“The Afghan government has proven that we are committed to peace…as demonstrated by the peace agreement with Hezb-i Islami,” he said.
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.