- Title: U.S. defense chief reassures Afghans amid questions over Trump's policies
- Date: 9th December 2016
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (DECEMBER 9, 2016) (REUTERS) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER, AND AFGHAN PRESIDENT, ASHRAF GHANI, WALKING TO PODIUM AT NEWS CONFERENCE U.S. DIPLOMATS AND OFFICIALS SITTING DOWN (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER; SAYING: "The United States presence continues to support the Afghan forces and strategic partnership with the government of Afghanistan demonstrates to the world that America is and will remain committed to a sovereign and secure Afghanistan. And, as I said here in July and reaffirm today, we stay in with the people of Afghanistan who have put themselves at risk and sacrificed so much to bring this country to this point of promise, potential and strength and we will continue to stand with you." CARTER AND GHANI ON PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, ASH CARTER; SAYING: "This year we have seen the Afghan security forces, having assumed the lead for security in their country, be put to the test and despite and through great sacrifices they passed this test. They demonstrated their growing capabilities and resilience and they denied the Taliban its own stated goal of seizing a major population centre. That reflects the progress Afghan forces have made with the help of the United States and our NATO partners." U.S. FLAG CARTER SHAKING HAND AND HUGGING GHANI / CARTER AND GHANI LEAVING THE CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 24th December 2016 12:29
- Keywords: United States defense chief Trump policy Afghanistan Taliban
- Location: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Reuters ID: LVA0015C5VV47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States will "remain committed" to Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday (December 9) amid questions over what President-elect Donald Trump's foreign policy will mean for the country as it faces a renewed Taliban insurgency.
Carter arrived in the Afghan capital on an unannounced visit and met U.S. troops and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
"America is, and will, remain committed to a sovereign and secure Afghanistan," Carter told a news conference with Ghani.
Trump has given few details of his foreign policy plans, with surprisingly few specifics on Afghanistan, where nearly 10,000 U.S. troops remain on the ground.
Afghanistan was barely mentioned during a bitterly fought election campaign, which largely focused on domestic issues.
Trump, however has said the United States should stop carrying out "nation building".
Ghani and Trump spoke by telephone last week and the Trump's transition team said in a statement they discussed the "terrorism threats facing both countries".
One of the most important questions facing Trump on Afghanistan, former officials and experts say, is how many U.S. troops will remain there.
Acknowledging that Afghan security remained precarious and Taliban forces had gained ground in some places, President Barack Obama shelved plans to cut the U.S. presence almost in half by year's end, opting instead to keep 8,400 troops there through to the end of his presidency in January.
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