At the U.N. General Assembly in New York, President Donald Trump met with Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, on the sidelines Thursday morning and was highly commended by the leader for the position he has taken in helping the war-torn country.
Ghani said, “It’s a difference of day and night,” when giving tremendous credit to President Trump for helping to turn around the 16-year war against the Taliban and Islamic terrorists.
Before Trump came into office, former President Obama had begun a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, then scrapped that plan when conditions there became worse.
Last month, President Trump announced a new strategy with long-term goals and committed to sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to assist and train their military.
“You made this decision on the basis of courage and determination. We salute you,” Ghani told President Trump Thursday morning, adding, “The cloud of uncertainty has been lifted, but equally important is your commitment to a political solution at the end of this process.”
“Our military is over there doing a great job — more with leadership, than in fighting,” President Trump told reporters.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the American soldiers, officers and civilians, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Ghani responded.
He said he wants to assure the American people that the U.S. military is not in combat – it’s the Afghan soldiers who are taking that burden, but the additional U.S. troops that have been sent are placing a very crucial role in giving assistance, support and advice.
Ghani thanked President Trump for all the elements of American power – military, diplomatic and economic – that are “brought together in a coherent plan of action to lift Afghanistan out of 40 years of crisis and make it a platform for stability and prosperity.”
“Because of this, we equally, understand and fully endorse the concept that is yours. We do not ask for a blank check, we are determined to do what is ours – fight corruption and ensure that there is no waste of resources, full accountability for the results, and significant momentum – so that the American people can know that, under your wise leadership,” what was not within grasp is now reachable.
President Trump reiterated that it is the Afghan soldiers who are doing the fighting, and American troops are training and working with them. “I’ve heard the spirit is tremendous over there, and rules of engagement are now different than they were,” Trump said.
Trump indicated there are 20 terrorist groups in Afghanistan and said it is a “hornet’s nest,” noting it is where the 9/11 terrorists received their training.
“It was a pleasure to have President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan with us this morning!” President Trump tweeted, as he shared a video of a photo session and press briefing the two leaders had together Thursday morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2017
A better version of the video is below, with improved audio quality.
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