Washington, Feb 10: The US supports Afghanistan's unity government, President Donald Trump has said during a telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani even as both leaders emphasised on the importance of bilateral strategic partnership between the two countries.
"President Trump today spoke with President Ghani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and emphasised the ongoing importance of the US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership and his support for the National Unity Government," the White House said yesterday. Trump and Ghani discussed opportunities to strengthen the bilateral relationship in areas such as security, counterterrorism cooperation, and economic development.
"President Trump looks forward to continuing a regular dialogue with President Ghani," the White House said. The two leaders had their first telephonic conversation after Trump became the 45th President of the US on January 20, on a day on which the top American commander in Afghanistan briefed lawmakers on the situation in this war-torn country.
General John Nicholson, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan told Senators that Ghani is making bold reforms and implementing anti corruption measures to professionalise and improve the Afghan security forces.
"The government of Afghanistan is committed to achieving peace through reconciliation. However, so long as external support and safe haven persist, the path to reconciliation will be extremely difficult. Afghanistan wants peace and we hope that their neighbours realise that their best interests are also served by peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan," Nicholson said.
"The National Unity government led by President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah has demonstrated the will to work through a complex set of issues with the goal of addressing much- needed political and governmental reforms," Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said. "I hope they will continue to do so. Particular with respect to anti-corruption economic development and other governance initiatives which will be central to the long-term success," Reed said.
Nicholson said the Unity Government retains broad international community support, represented by the financial and security commitments through the 2020 time frame of the Warsaw Summit and the Brussels Conference. To best translate the 2017-2020 Warsaw Summit timeline into success, President Ghani has directed the implementation of an Afghan four-year "Roadmap" to increase Afghan National Defense Security Force fighting capabilities, which will expand Afghan government control of the population and incentivise reconciliation, he said.