Kabul backs US call for more troops in Afghanistan

57

Kabul

The Afghan government has backed U.S. calls for more foreign soldiers in Afghanistan as the armed rebels continue their strategy of waiting out foreign troops.
Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani called the terrorist activities a serious threat to the stability of Afghanistan, adding that the terrorists’ sanctuaries lie outside the country.
Speaking before leaving for the U.S., where he is set to take part in the Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Rabbani said additional troops would help improve the security situation.
Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of the U.S.-led international military force in Afghanistan, last month said “a few thousand” more troops are needed to more effectively train and advise Afghan soldiers.
There are an estimated 13,300 foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan, 8,400 of them American. Except for the Americans — who can pursue terrorists if and when Afghan forces request it — the rest have been busy in the advise, train, and assist mission since 2015.
Rabbani added he would have detailed and focused talks with allies in Washington about the Afghan government’s achievements and shortcomings in anti-terrorism operations.
Asked about Russia’s alleged ties with the Taliban, he said Moscow has assured Kabul that its “contacts” were aimed only at persuading the insurgent group to endorse peace talks with the Afghan government.—Agencies