Tribune News Service
NEW DELHI, October 8
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered full support to the Kabul Government in its peace talks with the Taliban, a key figure in Afghan peace talks said Afghanistan and its allies must be prepared for any eventuality after US President Donald Trump said no American troops will be left in Afghanistan by Christmas.
“In November, part of the withdrawal will be completed. That’s what we are aware of. And, some numbers will be left beyond that,” said Abdullah Abdullah, chairman, Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, while clearly indicating that Trump’s announcement has caught all stakeholders by surprise.
Earlier in the day, Abdullah Abdullah met Modi who reaffirmed India’s long-term commitment to further deepening the ties between India and Afghanistan. The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest. Abdullah Abdullah briefed the PM on the Afghan peace process and ongoing talks in Doha.
The Afghan leader admitted that the peace process was going much slower than envisaged but said patience was needed because this was the first time that people who had been in the battlefield against each other for 30 years were not sitting across the table.