‘Trump closely monitoring progress of South Asia strategy’

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
04.12.2017

Washington, Dec 4 (PTI) US President Donald Trump is closely monitoring the progress in his new South Asia Strategy, which gives a major role to India, and is very much engaged in its implementation, a senior administration official has said.

Trump had sought a major role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan and ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops from the war-torn nation while announcing his new Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August.

“The president has been very closely monitoring the progress of the South Asia strategy. He’s very interested in any progress that has been made,” a senior administration official told PTI.

Trump had a meeting with his Defense Secretary Jim Mattis before he left on his visit to Pakistan. The defense Secretary is again likely to brief the president on his return.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York in September, Trump met the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“That was a good opportunity to hear from President Ghani on how the strategy was being received in Afghanistan,” the official said.

Observing that Trump has been getting updates from his national security team on what’s happening in Afghanistan, the official said the president is very much engaged and interested in how this strategy is progressing.

Asserting that the things are signs of encouragement in the implementation of the South Asia strategy, the official said it is moving in the right direction.

“We need to give more time for the strategy to take root,” the official said.

“It’s a multifaceted strategy. We’re using all the tools that the US has its disposal military, economic, diplomatic.

All these parts of the strategy are important. They all need to work in tandem together. The president is very interested in keeping track of how the strategy is going. And he is receiving regular updates,” the senior administration official said.

In his August 21 speech, Trump had said that terrorists who slaughter innocent people will find no glory in this life or the next.

“They are nothing but thugs, and criminals, and predators, and — that’s right — losers. Working alongside our allies, we will break their will, dry up their recruitment, keep them from crossing our borders, and yes, we will defeat them, and we will defeat them handily,” he had said.

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