Trump weighing options for new South Asia strategy: White House

President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Related News

Donald Trump is weighing his options on formulating a new US strategy in South Asia with the focus on Afghanistan, the White House has said, after the President held a key meeting with his national security team. Trump would take a final decision on this at an appropriate time, the White House said, without divulging the details of the meeting during which Trump was briefed by his national security team.

“Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan,” Trump tweeted after the meeting at the presidential retreat at Camp David, a picturesque resort in Maryland. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the President was briefed extensively by his national security team on a new strategy to protect America’s interests in South Asia.

“The President is studying and considering his options and will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the world at the appropriate time,” Sanders said in a statement after

Besides the National Security Adviser Lt Gen H R McMaster, the meeting was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of national Intelligence Daniel Coats, and President’s top Adviser on South Asia Lisa Curtis.

Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, attended the meeting through a secured video conference. The administration has said its Afghanistan strategy will be determined by a review of its approach to the broader region, including Pakistan and India. Meanwhile, Senator Lindsay Graham, in a statement, urged the US President not to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

“If we were to pull all our troops from Afghanistan it would be a disaster for our national security interests and set the stage for another 9/11 on American soil,” Graham said. Graham hoped that Trump, unlike his predecessor, will not put US military in a bad spot in Afghanistan.

“He should give them the tools and support they need to confront the rising terror threats in Afghanistan. Today, our diplomatic efforts are non-existent in Afghanistan and the same is true in neighbouring Pakistan,” Graham said.

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