Moscow questions statements on US troop reduction in Afghanistan

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump’s statements on cutting the military contingent in Afghanistan resemble “electoral rhetoric,” declared the director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Zamir Kabulov.

“That sounds like electoral rhetoric, Trump wants to show his constituents that he is keeping his electoral promises,” Kabulov told Sputnik.

He pointed out that currently the US has a real possibility of reducing its troops in Afghanistan because, apart from everything, their presence does not improve the situation much.

“What benefit does this military presence bring? Has the situation improved? Quite the contrary,” said the Russian diplomat.

Taliban movement

For his part, the spokesman for the Taliban movement (banned in Russia), Mohammad Naeem Wardak, declared on October 8 that he welcomes Trump’s recent declarations that the US forces that remain in Afghanistan should leave the country by Christmas.

The self-styled Islamic Emirate “welcomes this decision and considers it a positive step towards the implementation of the agreement between the Islamic Emirate and the US,” the Taliban spokesman tweeted.

The leader of the North American country wrote on his Twitter account that “the small remaining number of our brave men and women” who are serving in Afghanistan should return to the country by Christmas.

Meanwhile, asked during an interview with the Fox News channel about the possible date of return of the US soldiers, the president said that they will return “in a short time, by the end of the year.”

The president added that the return of the troops is currently being negotiated, and recalled that his administration the number of soldiers deployed in that country has been decreasing.

“We lowered the troops to 4,000 in Afghanistan, and we are going to have them at home by the end of this year,” Trump said.

The number of US troops in Afghanistan fell to 8,600 in July, and another 4,000 troops are expected to leave in the fall (Northern Hemisphere).

On Wednesday the 7th, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien reported that Washington will reduce the number of US forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 early next year.
At the end of last February, representatives of the US and the Taliban signed a historic agreement in Qatar that provides for the cut of the US military contingent in Afghanistan and the subsequent total withdrawal of US and NATO forces, as long as the violence ceases. .
Since then, American troops withdrew from five military bases in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump announced in early August that the US intends to reduce its strength in Afghanistan to 8,000, and then to 4,000, although he did not specify the dates.

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