World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia pointed out on Thursday that the new U.S. policy in Afghanistan offered only a military solution to the region’s problems.
"We have noticed that the new Afghanistan strategy, announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 21, focuses on the search for a military solution to the Afghan issue, particularly through increasing the number of foreign troops," Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said according to the official TASS news agency.
Trump announced on Monday that the U.S. would not commit to a timetable to end its military presence in Afghanistan, where it has been bogged down for nearly two decades.
The U.S. has about 8,400 troops in the country and Trump's comments made it clear there would be no indications about any future modifications to the American forces.
Addressing a news conference, Zakharova said Moscow was ready to assist Kabul in training and equipping national security forces and reaffirmed its openness to cooperate with both the U.S. and other countries.
Zakharova denied U.S. accusations on Moscow's arms supplies to the Taliban. "We once again declare that we do not provide any support to the Taliban," she said.
Using an alternate acronym for the ISIL terror group, Zakharova added: "It is regrettable that the strategy does not properly reflect the threat that the Afghan branch of the ISIL terror group poses.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed Tuesday that Russia was supplying arms to the Taliban in violation of UN norms.
He said: "If anyone is going to supply arms, it needs to be through the Afghan government."
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, ousting the Taliban after it gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.
However, recent years have seen the Taliban and other armed groups grow in strength as the U.S.-backed government in Kabul struggles to assert its authority across the country.
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