Trump to discuss South Asia strategy with top aides

In this Aug. 14, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington. Is it really so far-fetched to put Robert E. Lee in the same category as George Washington, as President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday? Many historians say yes. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) Top News

President Donald Trump is set to discuss with his national security team the US’ strategy in South Asia, including developing a new regional policy for resolving the long-running conflict in Afghanistan that may include both India and Pakistan. Trump will meet the team tomorrow at Camp David, a picturesque presidential retreat in Maryland, nearly 100 kms from Washington DC.

US National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster would be among those attending the meeting, the White House said. “The President along with the Vice President will meet with the National Security Team on Friday at Camp David to discuss the South Asia strategy,” it said.

The South Asia strategy primarily means the policy in Afghanistan, but the Trump administration feels that the war-torn country needs a regional approach to resolve the decades old problem.

In the past few weeks, senior officials of the Trump administration have gone on record to say that the regional approach to Afghanistan means inclusion of both India and Pakistan.

However, the officials so far have remained tight-lipped on what this means for India given that Pakistan has been averse to any Indian role in Afghanistan.

During the Bush administration and the initial years of the Obama administration, Pakistan had successfully managed to keep India out of major strategic conferences on Afghanistan. However, the successive administrations in the US have acknowledged the role of India in the development and reconstruction of Afghanistan. After the US, India is one of the largest donors for developmental projects in Afghanistan.

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